To His Own Drunk Self, a Song

Anacreonta 9: To His Own Drunk Self [εἰς ἑαυτὸν μεμεθυσμένον]

“Dear gods, let me drink,
Let me drink without pausing.
I want to go crazy, I do.

Alkmaion went crazy
And so did white-footed Orestes,
After they killed their mothers.

I haven’t killed anyone
drinking my red wine
I want to go crazy, I do.

Herakles went crazy once
Shaking his awful quiver
And Iphitus’ bow.
Ajax went crazy too
Holding up Hektor’s sword
With his shield.

I have this little cup
And this crown on my hair.
Not a bow or a sword.
I want to go crazy, I do.”

ἄφες με, τοὺς θεούς σοι,
πιεῖν, πιεῖν ἀμυστί·
θέλω, θέλω μανῆναι.
ἐμαίνετ᾿ Ἀλκμαίων τε
χὠ λευκόπους Ὀρέστης
τὰς μητέρας κτανόντες·
ἐγὼ δὲ μηδένα κτάς,
πιὼν δ᾿ ἐρυθρὸν οἶνον
θέλω, θέλω μανῆναι.

ἐμαίνετ᾿ Ἡρακλῆς πρὶν
δεινὴν κλονῶν φαρέτρην
καὶ τόξον Ἰφίτειον.
ἐμαίνετο πρὶν Αἴας
μετ᾿ ἀσπίδος κραδαίνων
τὴν Ἕκτορος μάχαιραν·

ἐγὼ δ᾿ ἔχων κύπελλον
καὶ στέμμα τοῦτο χαίτης,
οὐ τόξον, οὐ μάχαιραν,
θέλω, θέλω μανῆναι.

Drunken Hercules. A detail from the Baccanalia mosaic, Tsipory.

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