Alcaeus 38a

Alcaeus 38a

Drink and get drunk…….. with me, Melanippus!
You think, once you’ve crossed…….. the currents of Acheron

swirling, you’ll see…….. the immaculate sunlight
again? Don’t aim…….. above your orbit.

King Sisyphus, Aeolus’…….. boy, believed
he could crack death—…….. and he was our cleverest.

Despite that wiliness,…….. his doom demanded
he twice traverse…….. Acheron’s torrent,

and Cronus’ son sentenced him…….. to subterranean
toil. Pay attention:…….. don’t hope too much.

We’re young now, and need—…….. now, if ever—
to weather whatever…….. god will give.

Alcaeus 38a

πῶνε [καὶ μέθυ᾿ ὦ] Μελάνιππ᾿ ἄμ᾿ ἔμοι· τί [φαῖς † ὄταμε[. . . .]
διννάεντ᾿ † Ἀχέροντα μέγ[αν πόρον

ζάβαι[ς ἀ]ελίω κόθαρον φάος [ἄψερον
ὄψεσθ᾿; ἀλλ᾿ ἄγι μὴ μεγάλων ἐπ[ιβάλλεο·

καὶ γὰρ Σίσυφος Αἰολίδαις βασίλευς [ἔφα
ἄνδρων πλεῖστα νοησάμενος [θανάτω κρέτην·

ἀλλὰ καὶ πολύιδρις ἔων ὐπὰ κᾶρι [δὶς
διννάεντ᾿ Ἀχέροντ᾿ ἐπέραισε, μ[έμηδε δ᾿ ὦν

αὔτῳ μόχθον ἔχην Κρονίδαις βα[σίλευς κάτω
μελαίνας χθόνος· ἀλλ᾿ ἄγι μὴ τά[δ᾿ ἐπέλπεο·

θᾶς] τ᾿ ἀβάσομεν αἴ ποτα κἄλλοτα ν[ῦν χρέων
φέρ]ην ὄττινα τῶνδε πάθην τά[χα δῷ θέος.

Chris Childers

Chris Childers

Christopher Childers has poems, essays, and translations published or forthcoming at Kenyon Review, Yale Review, Parnassus, and elsewhere. He is at work on a translation of Latin and Greek Lyric Poetry from Archilochus to Martial for Penguin Classics.
Chris Childers

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Author: Chris Childers

Christopher Childers has poems, essays, and translations published or forthcoming at Kenyon Review, Yale Review, Parnassus, and elsewhere. He is at work on a translation of Latin and Greek Lyric Poetry from Archilochus to Martial for Penguin Classics.