Χριστὲ ἄναξ, τί με σαρκὸς ἐν ἄρκυσι ταῖσδε ἐνέδησας;
τίπτε με τῷδε βίῳ θῆκας ὑπ’ ἀντιπάλῳ;
πατρὸς μὲν γενόμην θεοειδέος, οὐκ ὀλίγης δὲ
μητέρος· ἐς δὲ φάος ἤλυθον εὐξαμένης.
ηὔξατο, καὶ μ’ ἀνέθηκε θεῷ βρέφος· ἀφθορίης δὲ
θερμὸν ἔρωτα χέεν ὄψις ἐμοὶ νυχίη.
Χριστὸς μὲν δὴ τοῖα· τὰ δ’ ὕστατα κύμασι βράσθην,
ἁρπαλέαις παλάμαις ἤρκεσα, σῶμα λύθην,
ποιμέσιν οὐ φιλίοισι συνέδραμον, ηὗρον ἄπιστα,
χηρώθην τεκέων, πήμασι χασσάμενος.
οὗτος Γρηγορίοιο βίος· τὰ δ’ ἔπειτα μελήσει
Χριστῷ ζωοδότῃ. γράψατε ταῦτα λίθοις.
(Gregory of Nazianzus, Poëm. 2.1.92)
Lord Christ, why have you bound me in these toils of the flesh?
Why have you subjected me to this painful life?
Of a godlike father I was born and of a mother who was not
insignificant. As a result of her prayers I came into the light.
She prayed and dedicated me as a child of God.
A nocturnal vision instilled in me a burning desire for purity.
Christ was responsible for all this, but later I was dashed by the waves,
snatched by greedy hands, my body crushed.
I fell among uncaring shepherds and experienced treachery.
I was deprived of my children and overwhelmed by misfortune.
Such has been the life of Gregory: what remains will be the concern
of Christ the giver of life. Inscribe these words on my tombstone.
(tr. Carolinne White)