Lucretius, de Rerum Natura 3.995-1002
“Sisyphus, too, is right in front of our eyes in daily life – he has learned to seek the fasces and the savage axes from the people, and always returns conquered and sad. For, to seek power, which is empty and never actually granted, and to endure labor in its pursuit, this is to push the rock pushing against us up a steep mountain, which is nevertheless rolled back down from the topmost peak and seeks the level ground of the flat fields below.”
Sisyphus in vita quoque nobis ante oculos est,
qui petere a populo fasces saevasque secures
imbibit et semper victus tristisque recedit.
nam petere imperium, quod inanest nec datur umquam,
atque in eo semper durum sufferre laborem,
hoc est adverso nixantem trudere monte
saxum, quod tamen [e] summo iam vertice rusum
volvitur et plani raptim petit aequora campi.