Goodbye Heroes!

Anacreonta 23

“I want to speak of the Atreides,
And I am willing to sing about Kadmos
But the sound of my strings
Echoes only with Love.

Just yesterday I changed my strings,
And then the whole lyre,
And I was trying to sing
The labors of Herakles.
But the lyre returned
Only the sound of Love.

So, Goodbye, heroes,
For the rest of my life.
My lyre sings only tales of Love”

θέλω λέγειν Ἀτρείδας,
θέλω δὲ Κάδμον ᾄδειν,
ἁ βάρβιτος δὲ χορδαῖς
Ἔρωτα μοῦνον ἠχεῖ.

ἤμειψα νεῦρα πρώην
καὶ τὴν λύρην ἅπασαν·
κἀγὼ μὲν ᾖδον ἄθλους
Ἡρακλέους· λύρη δὲ
Ἔρωτας ἀντεφώνει.

χαίροιτε λοιπὸν ἡμῖν,
ἥρωες· ἡ λύρη γὰρ
μόνους Ἔρωτας ᾄδει.

Pietro Perugino, “Fortitude and Temperance with Six Antique Heroes” c. 1497-1500 [fresco]

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