The Short Dream and the Sudden Darkness

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 14.620c

“Chameleon claims in his book On Stesichorus that it wasn’t only Homer’s poetry that was accompanied by music but also Archilochus’ and Hesiod’s too He adds the work of Mimnermus and Phocylides.”

Χαμαιλέων δὲ ἐν τῷ περὶ Στησιχόρου (fr. 28 Wehrli) καὶ μελῳδηθῆναί φησιν οὐ μόνον τὰ Ὁμήρου ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ Ἡσιόδου καὶ Ἀρχιλόχου, ἔτι δὲ Μιμνέρμου καὶ Φωκυλίδου.

Athenaeus, fr. 13.5.567f= Hermesian fr. 7.35-40

“Then Mimnermos, who discovered the sweet sound
And breath of gentle pentameter, after he suffered terribly,
Was burning for Nanno. With his lips often on the grey lotus
Pipe, he partied with Examyes.
But he was hateful to serious Hermobios and Pherekles.”

Μίμνερμος δέ, τὸν ἡδὺν ὃς εὕρετο πολλὸν ἀνατλὰς
ἦχον καὶ μαλακοῦ πνεῦμ᾿ ἀπὸ πενταμέτρου,
καίετο μὲν Ναννοῦς, πολιῷ δ᾿ ἐπὶ πολλάκι λωτῷ
κνημωθεὶς κώμους εἶχε σὺν Ἐξαμύῃ·
†ἠδ᾿ ἠχθεε† δ᾿ Ἑρμόβιον τὸν ἀεὶ βαρὺν ἠδὲ Φερεκλῆν

Suda, Mu 1077 (iii.397.20 Adler)

“Mimnermos, the son of Ligurtuades, from Kolophon or Smurnos or Astupalaios. An elegiac poet. He lived during the 37th Olympiad [ c. 632-629 BCE) and so lived before the Seven Sages. Some people say that he lived at the same time they did. He used to be called Liguastades because of his harmony and clarity. He wrote…those many books.”

Μίμνερμος Λιγυρτυάδου, Κολοφώνιος ἢ Σμυρναῖος ἢ Ἀστυπαλαιεύς, ἐλεγειοποιός. γέγονε δ᾿ ἐπὶ τῆς λζ΄ ὀλυμπιάδος, ὡς προτερεύειν τῶν ζ΄ σοφῶν· τινὲς δὲ αὐτοῖς καὶ συγχρονεῖν λέγουσιν. ἐκαλεῖτο δὲ καὶ Λιγυᾳστάδης διὰ τὸ ἐμμελὲς καὶ λιγύ. ἔγραψε βιβλία †ταῦτα πολλά.

Mimnermus, fr. 5 = Stobaeus 4.50.69

[missing line of dactylic hexameter]

“….but dear youth is like a short dream
Then suddenly hard and ugly old age
Drapes down over your head.
It makes a man hateful and unloved, even unknown
As it weakens his eyes and clouds his mind.”

ἀλλ᾿ ὀλιγοχρόνιον γίνεται ὥσπερ ὄναρ
ἥβη τιμήεσσα· τὸ δ᾿ ἀργαλέον καί ἄμορφον
γῆρας ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς αὐτίχ᾿ ὑπερκρέμεται,
ἐχθρὸν ὁμῶς καὶ ἄτιμον, ὅ τ᾿ ἄγνωστον τιθεῖ ἄνδρα,
βλάπτει δ᾿ ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ νόον ἀμφιχυθέν.

Nick Drake, “Black Eyed Dog”

Black eyed dog he called at my door
The black eyed dog he called for more

A black eyed dog he knew my name
A black eyed dog he knew my name
A black eyed dog
A black eyed dog

I’m growing old and I wanna go home, I’m growing old and I dont wanna know
I’m growing old and I wanna go home

Black eyed dog he called at my door
The black eyed dog he called for more

Ditlev Blunck, Old Age. From the series: The Four Ages of Man (1840-1845) Statens Museum fur Kunst

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