Before I Join The Dance of the Dead

Anacreonta 32

“I want to lay out a seat
Of soft myrtle shoots
And lotus flowers to give a toast,
Once love binds his tunic
Right below his neck with papyrus
Have him pour me some wine.

Life races by, turning
like the wheel of a chariot.
Soon we will be stretched out,
dust from crumbling bones.
Why should you perfume a stone?
Why pour wine pointlessly on the earth?

Anoint me while I live instead.
Crown my head with roses.
Call my girlfriend to come..

Love, before I leave here
For the underworld dance,
I want to scatter my worries away.”

ἐπὶ μυρσίναις τερείναις
ἐπὶ λωτίναις τε ποίαις
στορέσας θέλω προπίνειν.
ὁ δ᾿ Ἔρως χιτῶνα δήσας
ὑπὲρ αὐχένος παπύρῳ
μέθυ μοι διακονείτω·

τροχὸς ἅρματος γὰρ οἷα
βίοτος τρέχει κυλισθείς,
ὀλίγη δὲ κεισόμεσθα
κόνις ὀστέων λυθέντων.

τί σε δεῖ λίθον μυρίζειν;
τί δὲ γῇ χέειν μάταια;
ἐμὲ μᾶλλον, ὡς ἔτι ζῶ,
μύρισον, ῥόδοις δὲ κρᾶτα
πύκασον, κάλει δ᾿ ἑταίρην·

πρίν, Ἔρως, ἐκεῖ μ᾿ ἀπελθεῖν
ὑπὸ νερτέρων χορείας,
σκεδάσαι θέλω μερίμνας.

Spreuerbrucke Panel 1, The Dance of Dead. between 1626 and 1635

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