Oligochronion

Domenico Ghirlandaio, Ritratto di vecchio con nipote, 1488
Domenico Ghirlandaio, Ritratto di vecchio con nipote (1488)

Ἀλλ’ ὀλιγοχρόνιον γίνεται ὥσπερ ὄναρ
ἥβη τιμήεσσα· τὸ δ’ ἀργαλέον καὶ ἄμορφον
γῆρας ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς αὐτίχ’ ὑπερκρέμεται,
ἐχθρὸν ὁμῶς καὶ ἄτιμον, ὅ τ’ ἄγνωστον τιθεῖ ἄνδρα,
βλάπτει δ’ ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ νόον ἀμφιχυθέν.
(Mimnermus, fr. 5)

But precious youth is like a fleeting dream; in no time grievous and hideous old age, hateful as well as dishonoured, hangs over one’s head. It makes a man unrecognisable and hampers eyes and mind when it is poured round. (tr. Douglas E. Gerber)

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