Tuesday, August 02, 2022


Think Mortal Thoughts

Greek Anthology 11.56 (tr. J.W. Mackail):
Drink and be merry; for what is to-morrow or what the future
no man knows. Run not, labour not;
as thou canst, give, share, consume, be mortal-minded;
to be alive and not to be alive are no way at all apart.
All life is such, only the turn of the scale; if thou art beforehand, it is thine;
and if thou diest, all is another's, and thou hast nothing.

πῖνε καὶ εὐφραίνου· τί γάρ αὔριον, ἢ τί τὸ μέλλον,
    οὐδεὶς γινώσκει. μὴ τρέχε, μὴ κοπία,
ὡς δύνασαι, χάρισαι, μετάδος, φάγε, θνητὰ λογίζου·
    τὸ ζῆν τοῦ μὴ ζῆν οὐδὲν ὅλως ἀπέχει.
πᾶς ὁ βίος τοιόσδε, ῥοπὴ μόνον· ἂν προλάβῃς, σοῦ,
    ἂν δὲ θάνῃς, ἑτέρου πάντα, σὺ δ᾽ οὐδὲν ἔχεις.
The same, tr. William Sinclair Marris:
Drink and be merry: there is no man knows
Tomorrow, or thereafter, how it goes:
Run not nor strive;
Give, share, and eat; be kindly as you can;
Think only thoughts that do befit a man;
Dead or alive,
Between the two's not much to choose:
Life is just that, a dip of weighing-pans;
Quick, and you take the lot,
But if you die, 'tis all another man's,
And you have not.

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