America. January 20, 2021. Evening.

“The night pervades them and infolds them”—Walt Whitman, “The Sleepers”

Alcman fr. 89

mountain peaks and valleys are asleep,
jutting places and mountain streams too—
the tribes of crawling things
and as many creatures as black earth bears—
beasts which lay in wait in mountains
and the race of bees alike—
monsters at the dark sea’s bottom,
and also tribes of long-winged preying birds,
they are asleep.

εὕδοντι δ’ ὀρέων κορυφαί τε καὶ φάραγγες
πρώονές τε καὶ χαράδραι
φῦλά τ’ ἑρπέτ’ ὅσα τρέφει μέλαινα γαῖα
θῆρές τ’ ὀρεσκώιοι καὶ γένος μελισσᾶν
καὶ κνώδαλ’ ἐν βένθεσσι πορφυρέας ἁλός·
εὕδοντι δ’ οἰωνῶν φῦλα τανυπτερύγων.

Larry Benn has a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College, an M.Phil in English Literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Making amends for a working life misspent in finance, he’s now a hobbyist in ancient languages and blogs at

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