Wednesday, March 09, 2016


Alas, Poor Yorick!

Greek Anthology 9.439 (on a skull; by Crinagoras or Antiphilus; tr. W.R. Paton):
Once hairy crown, deserted shell of the eye, fabric of the tongueless mouth, feeble fence of the brain, relic of the unburied dead, set by the wayside to draw a tear from passers-by, thou liest there by the path near the tree-trunk, that looking on thee we may learn what profit there is in being thrifty of life.

βρέγμα πάλαι λαχναῖον, ἐρημαῖόν τε κέλυφος
    ὄμματος, ἀγλώσσου θ᾿ ἁρμονίη στόματος,
ψυχῆς ἀσθενὲς ἕρκος, ἀτυμβεύτου θανάτοιο
    λείψανον, εἰνόδιον δάκρυ παρερχομένων,
κεῖσο πέλας πρέμνοιο παρ᾿ ἀτραπόν, ὄφρα <μάθῃ τις>
    ἀθρήσας, τί πλέον φειδομένῳ βιότου.

5 suppl. Jacobs
Commentary in A.S.F. Gow and D.L. Page, edd., The Garland of Philip and Some Contemporary Epigrams, Vol. II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. 257-258.

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