Monday, August 17, 2020


Labor Omnia Vincit

Hesiod, Works and Days 302-316 (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn-White):
For Hunger is altogether a meet comrade for the sluggard. Both gods and men are angry with a man who lives idle, for in nature he is like the stingless drones who waste the labour of the bees, eating without working; but let it be your care to order your work properly, that in the right season your barns may be full of victual. Through work men grow rich in flocks and substance, and working they are much better loved by the immortals. Work is no disgrace: it is idleness which is a disgrace. But if you work, the idle will soon envy you as you grow rich, for fame and renown attend on wealth. And whatever be your lot, work is best for you, if you turn your misguided mind away from other men's property to your work and attend to your livelihood as I bid you.

Λιμὸς γάρ τοι πάμπαν ἀεργῷ σύμφορος ἀνδρί.
τῷ δὲ θεοὶ νεμεσῶσι καὶ ἀνέρες, ὅς κεν ἀεργὸς
ζώῃ, κηφήνεσσι κοθούροις εἴκελος ὀργήν,
οἵ τε μελισσάων κάματον τρύχουσιν ἀεργοὶ        305
ἔσθοντες· σοὶ δ᾽ ἔργα φίλ᾽ ἔστω μέτρια κοσμεῖν,
ὥς κέ τοι ὡραίου βιότου πλήθωσι καλιαί.
ἐξ ἔργων δ᾽ ἄνδρες πολύμηλοί τ᾽ ἀφνειοί τε·
καί τ᾽ ἐργαζόμενος πολὺ φίλτερος ἀθανάτοισιν
ἔσσεαι ἠδὲ βροτοῖς· μάλα γὰρ στυγέουσιν ἀεργούς.        310
ἔργον δ᾽ οὐδὲν ὄνειδος, ἀεργίη δέ τ᾽ ὄνειδος·
εἰ δέ κεν ἐργάζῃ, τάχα σε ζηλώσει ἀεργὸς
πλουτέοντα· πλούτῳ δ᾽ ἀρετὴ καὶ κῦδος ὀπηδεῖ·
δαίμονι δ᾽ οἷος ἔῃσθα, τὸ ἐργάζεσθαι ἄμεινον,
εἴ κεν ἀπ᾽ ἀλλοτρίων κτεάνων ἀεσίφρονα θυμὸν        315
εἰς ἔργον τρέψας μελετᾷς βίου, ὥς σε κελεύω.

Isaak Levitan (1860-1900), Evening in the Field (1883)

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