The Sun’s Endless Labor and Magic Bed

Mimnermus fr. 12 [=12 Ath. 11.470a]

“Helios was allotted labor for all days–
He and his horse never have
A break after rosy-toed Dawn
Leaves Ocean and ascends the Sky.

A curved, much-loved bed carries him
Across the waves, crafted by Hephaestus’ hands
Made of dear gold, with wings, he deeply sleeps
Above the water’s surface, from the land of the Hesperides
To the Ethiopians’ home, where his chariot and horses
Wait until dawn arrives, newly-born,
When Hyperion’s son climbs into his second car…

Ἠέλιος μὲν γὰρ ἔλαχεν πόνον ἤματα πάντα,
οὐδέ ποτ᾿ ἄμπαυσις γίνεται οὐδεμία
ἵπποισίν τε καὶ αὐτῷ, ἐπὴν ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠὼς
Ὠκεανὸν προλιποῦσ᾿ οὐρανὸν εἰσαναβῇ.

τὸν μὲν γὰρ διὰ κῦμα φέρει πολυήρατος εὐνή,
κοιίλη, Ἡφαίστου χερσὶν ἐληλαμένη,
χρυσοῦ τιμήεντος, ὑπόπτερος, ἄκρον ἐφ᾿ ὕδωρ
εὕδονθ᾿ ἁρπαλέως χώρου ἀφ᾿ Ἑσπερίδων
γαῖαν ἐς Αἰθιόπων, ἵνα δὴ θοὸν ἅρμα καὶ ἵπποι
ἑστᾶσ᾿, ὄφρ᾿ Ἠὼς ἠριγένεια μόλῃ·
ἔνθ᾿ ἐπέβη ἑτέρων ὀχέων Ὑπερίονος υἱός.

Half of a clay plate with an immage on it in brown, black, and tan. A long-haird divine figure, Helios, driving a chairiot team. Images fragmented,
Helios, painting on a terracotta disk, 480 BC. Museum of the Ancient Agora in Athens.

One thought on “The Sun’s Endless Labor and Magic Bed

Leave a Reply