“Wisdom to others”: This is about that wisdom from earlier, speaking concisely, and becoming and exemplar to others, which means a teacher. What he’s saying is I am showing many others about concision, how to explain things concisely.”
“Slander merchants are an incurable headache for everyone–
They have tempers like foxes–
But what kind of profit does that cleverness produce?
It is just like when the rest of the equipment
Struggles in the the depth of the sea and I go
Floating untouched like a cork on the salty swell.
It’s impossible for a lying citizen to speak a strong word
Among good people–yet they’ll keep sucking up to everyone
To weave total ruin.
I don’t share his audacity! I want to love a friend
And be hateful to an enemy and
Run him to ground like a wolf does–
Creeping up on him by indirect paths.
Someone who speaks straight rises to the top
In any constitution–in a tyranny, when the mob rules or
When wise people oversee the state.
You shouldn’t fight with a god.”
“Once, in the middle of the night,
At that time when the bear
Is already turning round the Plowman’s hand,
And all mortal peoples lie
Overcome by exhaustion,
Love stationed himself outside
The bolts of my doors and was knocking.
I said, “who’s knocking at my door?
You’ve broken up my dreams!”
And Love said, “Open up!
I am just a baby, don’t be afraid.
I am getting damp as I wander
Through this moonless night.”
I felt pity when I heard this
And immediately grabbed my lamp.
I opened the door and saw
Baby there, wearing a quiver
With arrows and a bow.
I sat him down near my hearth
And I warmed his hands with mine
And pressed the gold water from his hair.
Once he shrugged off his shivers,
He said, “Come on, let’s try this bow,
Whether its string has been ruined from getting wet.
He drew and shot true,
In the middle of my heart, like a mosquito.
He jumped up and laughed out with a smile,
“Friend, celebrate with me!
My bow is unharmed,
Although your heart will hurt for a while!
“Come here, best of painters
Listen to the Lyric muse!
Paint cities first
Happy ones, laughing ones,
And Bacchantes at play,
Breathing into their double pipes.
Then if the wax can manage,
Trace out the lovers’ ways.”
“Ibykos: The son of Phutios, althought some claim he was the son of Poluzelos the Messenian historiographer, while others say his father was Kerdas, from Rhegion in origin. He left there for Samos when the father of Polycrates the tyrant ruled it. This was at the time of Kroisus’ rule, in the 54th Olmypiad [564-560 BCE] . He was really mad-crazy in desire for young men. He was also the one who inventor of the sambyke which was a kind of triangle-shaped cithara. There are seven books attributed to him in the Doric dialect.
After he was captured by brigands in a deserted area, he claimed that the cranes that were flying above them would be his avengers. He was killed. But later, one of the avengers saw some cranes in the city and said, “Behold, the avengers of Ibykos.” When someone heard this, and pursued what he said. He admitted what had happened and the brigands were punished. This is were the proverb comes from “Ibykos’ cranes.”
They also destroyed the famous,
blessed, large city of Priam
after leaving from Argos
thanks to the plans of Zeus,
taking on the much-sung strife
for the beauty of fair Helen
in that mournful war;
Destruction climbed the ruined city
because of golden-haired Aphrodite.
Now, I don’t long to sing
of host-deceiving Paris
or tender-ankled Kassandra,
or the rest of the children of Priam
and the nameless day
of the sacking of high-gated Troy,
Nor yet the overreaching virtue
of heroes whom the hollow,
many-banched ships brought
as the destruction of Troy.
Fine heroes and Agememnon was their leader,
a king from Pleisthenes,
a son of Atreus, a noble father.
The learned Muses of Helicon
might take up these tales well;
but no mortal man, unblessed,
could number each of the ships
Menelaos led across the Aegean sea from Aulos,
from Argos they came, the bronze-speared sons of the Achaeans…”
“When they were waging war and many different kinds of things were happening in the battles, then indeed among them when the Athenians were winning, the poet Alcaeus went running and fled, but the Athenians captured his armor and dedicated it in the temple of Athena at Sigeion. Alcaeus wrote a poem about this and sent it to Mytilene where he explained his suffering to his best friend Melanippos. Peirander, Kypselos’ son, made peace between the Athenians and Mytileneans after they entrusted the affair to his judgment. He resolved it so that each side would keep what they previously possessed.”
“What does Herodotus say about what happened at [the battle between the Athenians and Mytileneans]? Instead of mentioning the excellence of Pittakos, he narrates the flight of the poet Alkaios from battle, how he dropped his weapons. By not describing great deeds and by not passing over the shameful ones, he has taken the side of those who claim that envy and joy at someone else’s misfortune comes from the same weakness.”
“Drink and get drunk with me, Melanippos.
Why would you say that once you cross the great eddying
River of Acheron you will see the pure light of the sun again?
Come on, don’t hope for great things.
For even the son of Aiolos, Sisyphos used to claim
He was better than death because he knew the most of men.
Even though he was so very wise, he crossed
The eddying river Acheron twice thanks to fate
And Kronos’ son granted that he would have toil
Beneath the dark earth. So don’t hope for these things.
As long as we are young, now is the time we must
Endure whatever of these things the god soon grants us to suffer.”
“I claim and I will always claim
That excellence has the greatest glory.
Wealth will flock to worthless people
And always tends to swell a person’s thoughts.
But the one who does well for the gods
Has more glorious hopes
To settle their heart.
But if someone has health
Even if mortal
And can live through their own household
They rival the best.
Truly, all pleasure
In a person’s life
Comes apart from disease
And a poverty with no cure.
Rich people desire big things
No less than the poor something smaller,
And there’s nothing sweet for mortals
In being able to get everything at all
Because they’re always straining to catch
Whatever is getting away.”