New Youth on the Dance Floor

Anacreonta 53

“When I look upon a group
Of young men, my youth reappears.

And then, I fly into the dance
Even though I am an old man,
I go out of my mind, in a frenzy.

Give me that, I want to wear a crown.
Gray age is far away still.

I will dance, a young man among the young,
Let someone bring me
A pour of Dionysian fruit,
Then you’ll see an old man’s courage,
From a man who has learned how to speak,
Who has learned both how to drink
And how to go crazy with charm.”

ὅτ᾿ ἐγὼ᾿ ς νέων ὅμιλον
ἐσορῶ, πάρεστιν ἥβα.

τότε δή, τότ᾿ ἐς χορείην
ὁ γέρων ἐγὼ πτεροῦμαι,
παραμαίνομαι, κυβηβῶ.

παράδος· θέλω στέφεσθαι.
πολιὸν δ᾿ ἑκὰς τὸ γῆρας·

νέος ἐν νέοις χορεύσω,
Διονυσίης δέ μοί τις
φερέτω ῥοὰν ὀπώρης,
ἵν᾿ ἴδῃ γέροντος ἀλκὴν
δεδαηκότος μὲν εἰπεῖν,
δεδαηκότος δὲ πίνειν,
χαριέντως τε μανῆναι.

Black figure vase: orange background with youths dancing
Vase with youths playing Firenze, Museo Archaeologico Nazionale 3784

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