Thursday, October 19, 2017


Two Pains

Greek Anthology 12.172 (by Euenus; tr. W.R. Paton):
If to hate is pain and to love is pain, of the two evils
I choose the smart of kind pain.

εἰ μισεῖν πόνος ἐστί, φιλεῖν πόνος, ἐκ δύο λυγρῶν
    αἱροῦμαι χρηστῆς ἕλκος ἔχειν ὀδύνης.
Greek ἕλκος is cognate with Latin ulcus, -eris.

The same, tr. Alistair Elliot:
If hate is painful and if love's a pain,
I'll choose the wound that is not quite in vain.
The same, tr. Daryl Hine:
Since hating's a bore and loving is a bore,
I like the nicer of two boredoms more.

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