Couple in bed

Ἐν δ’ ἥβῃ πάρα μὲν ξὺν ὁμήλικι πάννυχον εὕδειν,
ἱμερτῶν ἔργων ἐξ ἔρον ἱέμενον·
ἔστι δὲ κωμάζοντα μετ’ αὐλητῆρος ἀείδειν·
τούτων οὐδὲν †τι† ἄλλ’ ἐπιτερπνότερον
ἀνδράσιν ἠδὲ γυναιξί. τί μοι πλοῦτός τε καὶ αἰδώς;
τερπωλὴ νικᾷ πάντα σὺν εὐφροσύνῃ.
(Theognis, Eleg. 1063-1068)

In youth you are free to sleep all night with an agemate and satisfy your craving for lovemaking; you may carouse and sing with a piper. No other pleasure compares with these for men and women. What are wealth and respect to me? Pleasure combined with good cheer surpasses everything. (tr. Douglas E. Gerber)



Κυπρογενὲς Κυθέρεια δολοπλόκε, σοὶ τί περισσὸν
Ζεὺς τόδε τιμήσας δῶρον ἔδωκεν ἔχειν;
δαμνᾷς δ’ ἀνθρώπων πυκινὰς φρένας, οὐδέ τίς ἐστιν
οὕτως ἴφθιμος καὶ σοφὸς ὥστε φυγεῖν.
(Theognis, Eleg. 1386-1389)

Bred on Cyprus, Cytherean, weaver of deceptions, what is this extraordinary gift that Zeus, showing you honour, has bestowed upon you? You overwhelm the high-mindedness of mankind and there is no one in existence who has the strength or wisdom enough to elude you. (tr. Marguerite Johnson & Terry Ryan)


Νεβρὸν ὑπὲξ ἐλάφοιο λέων ὣς ἀλκὶ πεποιθὼς
ποσσὶ καταμάρψας αἵματος οὐκ ἔπιον·
τειχέων δ’ ὑψηλῶν ἐπιβὰς πόλιν οὐκ ἀλάπαξα·
ζευξάμενος δ’ ἵππους ἅρματος οὐκ ἐπέβην·
πρήξας δ’ οὐκ ἔπρηξα, καὶ οὐκ ἐτέλεσσα τελέσσας,
δρήσας δ’ οὐκ ἔδρησ’, ἤνυσα δ’ οὐκ ἀνύσας.
(Theognis, Eleg. 949-954)

Like a lion trusting in its might, I snatched a fawn from the doe with my claws, and did not drink its blood; I scaled the city’s high walls, and did not sack it; I yoked a team, and did not mount the chariot; I have done, and not done; completed, and not completed; performed, and not performed; accomplished, and not accomplished. (tr. Douglas E. Gerber)