Time and the Death of Pain

Pindar, Olympian 2.15-24

“When things are done
Justly or otherwise
Not even time, the father of everything,
Can render their results undone.

Yet with a lucky fate,
They may yet be forgotten.
Even pain dies
once the churn of feelings is subdued
Under the influence of noble joys.
Whenever the god’s Fate sends
Happiness reaching on high.

This claim fits well
The fair-throned daughters of Cadmus
Who suffered calamities–
But now their heavy grief fades
In the face of greater goods.”

τῶν δὲ πεπραγμένων
ἐν δίκᾳ τε καὶ παρὰ δίκαν ἀποίητον οὐδ᾿ ἄν
Χρόνος ὁ πάντων πατὴρ
δύναιτο θέμεν ἔργων τέλος·
λάθα δὲ πότμῳ σὺν εὐδαίμονι γένοιτ᾿ ἄν.
ἐσλῶν γὰρ ὑπὸ χαρμάτων πῆμα θνᾴσκει
παλίγκοτον δαμασθέν,
ὅταν θεοῦ Μοῖρα πέμπῃ
ἀνεκὰς ὄλβον ὑψηλόν. ἕπεται δὲ λόγος εὐθρόνοις
Κάδμοιο κούραις, ἔπαθον αἳ μεγάλα·
πένθος δὲ πίτνει βαρύ
κρεσσόνων πρὸς ἀγαθῶν.

Winged old figure in the clouds holding an hour glass in one hand and a scythe in the other. AN oil painting
Jan van Bronchorst . “Time” 1656

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