Longing, Not Envy in the Heart

Anacreonta 42

“I am aching for the dances
Of playful Dionysus–
I am in love with playing the lye
with a young man as companion.
And I just adore most of all
Crowing my head with hyacinths
To play games along with the girls.

I have no envy in my heart,
I know no biting envy at all.
I stay away from the light attacks
Of critical tongues.
And I loathe the drunken fights.

At joyous feasts
With youthful ladies,
I hope to take life easy
Dancing to songs on the lyre

ποθέω μὲν Διονύσου
φιλοπαίγμονος χορείας,
φιλέω δ᾿, ὅταν ἐφήβου
μετὰ συμπότου λυρίζω·
στεφανίσκους δ᾿ ὑακίνθων
κροτάφοισιν ἀμφιπλέξας
μετὰ παρθένων ἀθύρειν
φιλέω μάλιστα πάντων.

φθόνον οὐκ οἶδ᾿ ἐμὸν ἦτορ,
φθόνον οὐκ οἶδα δαϊκτήν.
φιλολοιδόροιο γλώττης
φεύγω βέλεμνα κοῦφα·
στυγέω μάχας παροίνους.

πολυκώμους κατὰ δαῖτας
νεοθηλέσιν ἅμα κούραις
ὑπὸ βαρβίτῳ χορεύων
βίον ἥσυχον φέροιμι.

Color photo of marble sarcophagus. The sculpture on its front has Dionysus on an animal, surrounded by other figures
Dionysus sarcophagus, Hellenistic marble sculpture; Metropolitan Museum, New York

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