Posts tagged ‘7th century bce’

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

For the Sun Has Got As His Lot Labor Every Day by Mimnermus

For the sun has got as his lot labor every day,
nor is there ever any rest for him
or his horses when rosy-fingered Dawn leaves behind
Ocean and climbs up the brightening sky,
for over the wave in a lovely spangled bed, forged
by Hephaistos’ hand of precious gold and winged,
he is borne, delightfully asleep, on the water’s face
from the country of the Hesperides
to the land of the Aithiopians, where his steeds
and swift chariot stand until Dawn,
the early-born, appears, and the son of Hyperion
then mounts and drives away his dazzling car.

From: Fowler, Barbara Hughes (ed. and transl.), Archaic Greek Poetry: An Anthology, 1992, The University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, Wisconsin, p. 86.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Xv14BW-bocYC)

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1992 (translation in English)

By: Mimnermus (fl. 630-600 BCE)

Translated by: Barbara Hughes Fowler (1926- )

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Monday, 29 April 2019

Women by Semonides of Amorgos

She from the steed of wanton mane
Shall spurn all servile toil and pain:
Nor shake the sieve, nor ply the mill
Nor sweep the floor, though dusty still,
Nor near the oven take her seat,
But loathe the ashes, smoke, and heat,
And to her husband profit naught,
Unless by sheer compulsion taught.
Twice, thrice she bathes her through the day,
Washing the slightest soil away;
Perfumes with oils her every limb,
Her tresses combs in order trim;
Tress upon tress, in thickening braid,
While twisted flowers her temples shade.
A goodly sight to strangers’ view,
But he that owns her sore shall rue
The cost I ween, unless he be
Satrap or king and joy in luxury.

Her from an Ape the Maker sent
Man’s evil mate and punishment.
Her visage foul, she walks the streets
The laughing-stock of all she meets.
Scarce her short neck can turn; all slim
And lank and spare; all leg and limb!
Wretched the man who in his breast
Is doomed to fold this female pest!
She, like the Ape, is versed in wiles
And tricking turns; she never smiles,
Obliges none; but ponders still
On mischief-plots and daily ill.

Who gains the creature from the Bee
By fortune favoured most is he:
To her alone, with pointless sting,
Would Scandal impotently cling.
With her his May of life is long;
His days are flourishing and strong.
Beloved, her fond embrace she twines
Round him she loves: with him declines
In fading years; her race is known
For goodly forms and fair renown.

Her decent charms her sex outshine:
Around her flits a grace divine.
She sits not pleased where women crowd,
In amorous tattle, light and loud:
With such the God mankind has blest;
With such the wisest and the best.

From: Miller, Marion Mills (ed.), The Greek Classics: Didactic and Lyric Poetry, Volume Three, 1909, Vincent Parke and Company: New York, pp. 100-101.
(https://archive.org/details/greekclassics03milluoft/)

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1814 (translation in English)

By: Semonides of Amorgos (7th century BCE)

Translated by: Charles Abraham Elton (1778-1853)

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Military Elegy: Courage by Tyrtæus

Ne’er would I praise that man, nor deign to sing,
First in the race, or strongest at the ring,
Not though he boast a ponderous Cyclop’s force,
Or rival Boreas in his rapid course;
Not tho’ Aurora might his name adore,
Tho’ eastern riches swell his countless store,
Tho’ power and splendour to his name belong,
And soft persuasion dwell upon his tongue,
Tho’ all but god-like valour, were his own:

My muse is sacred to the brave alone;
Who can look carnage in the face, and go
Against the foremost warriors of the foe.

By heaven high courage to mankind was lent,
Best attribute of youth, best ornament.
The man whom blood and danger fail to daunt,
Fearless who fights, and ever in the front,
Who bids his comrades barter useless breath
For a proud triumph, or a prouder death,
He is my theme — He only, who can brave
With single force the battle’s rolling wave,
Can turn his enemies to Might, and fall
Beloved, lamented, deified by all.
His household gods, his own parental land
High in renown, by him exalted stand;
Alike the heirs and founders of his name
Share his deserts and borrow from his fame
He, pierced in front with many a gaping wound,
Lies, great and glorious, on the bloody ground,
From every eye he draws one general tear,
And a whole nation follows to his bier;
Illustrious youths sigh o’er his early doom,
And late posterity reveres his tomb.
Ne’er shall his memorable virtue die,
Tho’ cold in earth, immortal as the sky;
He for his country fought, for her expired:
Oh would all imitate whom all admired!
But if he sleep not with the mighty dead,
And living laurels wreathe his honour’d head,
By old, by young, adored, he gently goes
Down a smooth pathway to his long repose,
Unaltering friends still love his hairs of snow,
And rising elders in his presence bow.
Would ye, like him, the wond’ring world engage,
Draw the keen blade, and let the battle rage!

From: Peter, William (ed.), Specimens of the Poets and Poetry of Greece and Rome by Various Translators, 1848, Carey and Hart: Philadelphia, p. 27.
(https://archive.org/details/spe00cimensofpoetspeterich

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1848 (translation in English)

By: Tyrtæus (7th century BCE)

Translated by: Francis Hodgson (1781-1852)

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Fragment 286: The Influence of Spring by Ibycus

In Spring, bedewed with river-streams,
From where, for everlasting, gleams
The garden of th’ Hesperides
Blossom Cydonian apple-trees; —
In Spring the saplings freshly shine,
Beneath the parent-vine
In shadow and in breeze;
But me Love’s mighty power,
That sleepeth never an hour,
From Venus rushing, burneth with desire,
As with lightning fire;
Black, as the Thracian wind,
He seizes on my mind,
With dry delirious heat
Inflames my reason’s seat,
And, in the centre of my soul,
Keeps empire for a child, and holds
Uncheck’d control.

From: http://elfinspell.com/GRPIbycus.html

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1833 (translation in English)

By: Ibycus (6th century BCE)

Translated by: Henry Nelson Coleridge (1798-1843)

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Close Fight by Archilochus

Bows will not avail thee,
Darts and slings will fail thee,
When Mars tumultuous rages
On wide-embattled land;
Then with faulchions clashing,
Eyes with fury flashing,
Man with man engages
In combat hand to hand.
But most Eubœa’s chiefs are known,
Marshalled hosts of spearmen leading
To conflict, whence is no receding,
To make this—war’s best art—their own.

From: Merivale, J. H. (ed. and transl.), Collections from the Greek Anthology. By the Late Rev. Robert Bland, and Others. A New Edition, 1833, Longman, Rees, Ormes, Brown, Green, and Longman, and John Murray: London, p. 5.
(https://archive.org/details/collectionsfrom00blan)

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1813 (translation in English)

By: Archilochus (c680-645 BCE)

Translated by: John Herman Merivale (1779-1844)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Exhortation to Battle by Callinus

How long will ye slumber? when will ye take heart
And fear the reproach of your neighbors at hand?
Fie! comrades, to think ye have peace for your part,
Whilst the sword and the arrow are wasting our land!
Shame! grasp the shield close! cover well the bold breast!
Aloft raise the spear as ye march on your foe!
With no thought of retreat, with no terror confessed,
Hurl your last dart in dying, or strike your last blow.
Oh, ‘t is noble and glorious to fight for our all,-
For our country, our children, the wife of our love!
Death comes not the sooner; no soldier shall fall,
Ere his thread is spun out by the sisters above.
Once to die is man’s doom; rush, rush to the fight!
He cannot escape, though his blood were Jove’s own.
For a while let him cheat the shrill arrow by flight;
Fate will catch him at last in his chamber alone.
Unlamented he dies; – unregretted. Not so,
When, the tower of his country, in death falls the brave;
Thrice hallowed his name amongst all, high or low,
As with blessings alive, so with tears in the grave.

From: http://www.poetry-archive.com/c/exhortation_to_battle.html

Date: 7th century BCE (original in Greek); 1830 (translation in English)

By: Callinus (7th century BCE)

Translated by: Henry Nelson Coleridge (1798-1843)