Hepsomai

cleanthes1

Ἄγου δέ μ’, ὦ Ζεῦ, καὶ σύ γ’ ἡ Πεπρωμένη,
ὅποι ποθ’ ὑμῖν εἰμι διατεταγμένος·
ὡς ἕψομαί γ’ ἄοκνος· ἢν δέ γε μὴ θέλω,
κακὸς γενόμενος, οὐδὲν ἧττον ἕψομαι.
(Cleanthes, fr. 2 Powell)

Lead me, Zeus, and you too, Destiny,
To wherever your decrees have assigned me.
I follow readily, but if I choose not,
Wretched though I am, I must follow still.
(tr. Nicholas P. White)

Et sic adloquamur Iovem, cuius gubernaculo moles ista derigitur, quemadmodum Cleanthes noster versibus disertissimis adloquitur, quos mihi in nostrum sermonem mutare permittitur Ciceronis, disertissimi viri, exemplo. si placuerint, boni consules; si displicuerint, scies me in hoc secutum Ciceronis exemplum:
Duc, o parens celsique dominator poli,
quocumque placuit; nulla parendi mora est.
adsum impiger. fac nolle, comitabor gemens
malusque patiar, facere quod licuit bono.
ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt.
(Seneca Minor, Ep. ad Luc. 107.10-11)

(…) and let us address Jupiter, the pilot of this vessel, as our Cleanthes addresses him in most eloquent verses, and as our most eloquent Cicero’s example allows me to adapt in our own language. If you like them, you will take it well, but if they don’t please you, you will know that in this I followed Cicero’s lead:
Lead me, father and lord of heaven’s lofty pole
Where’er you choose; I’ll not delay obedience;
Here I am, active. If I’m reluctant, I will follow groaning,
A bad man suffering what the good man chooses.
The Fates lead on the willing but drag behind the laggard.
(tr. Elaine Fantham)

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