Friday, March 04, 2016


Intimations of Mortality

Anacreontea 40 (tr. David A. Campbell):
Since I was created a mortal
to journey on the path of life,
I can tell the years that I have gone past,
but do not know the years I have to run.
Let me go, worries:        5
let there be no dealings between you and me.
Before death catches up with me,
I shall play, I shall laugh and I shall dance
with lovely Lyaeus.

ἐπειδὴ βροτὸς ἐτεύχθην
βιότου τρίβον ὁδεύειν,
χρόνον ἔγνων ὃν παρῆλθον,
ὃν δ᾿ ἔχω δραμεῖν οὐκ οἶδα.
† μέθετέ με, φροντίδες· †        5
μηδέν μοι χὔμιν ἔστω.
πρὶν ἐμὲ φθάσῃ τὸ τέλος,
παίξω, γελάσω, χορεύσω
μετὰ τοῦ καλοῦ Λυαίου.
Robert Herrick (1591-1674), Complete Poetry, ed. Tom Cain and Ruth Connolly, Vol. I (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 180-181 (# 519):
Borne I was to meet with Age,
And to walke Life's pilgrimage.
Much I know of Time is spent,
Tell I can't, what's Resident.
Howsoever, cares, adue;
Ile have nought to say to you:
But Ile spend my comming houres,
Drinking wine & crown'd with flowres.
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