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.

Theophrastus, Characters 1.1-4


“The dissembler is the kind of man who …confesses nothing of what he is really doing but claims to be considering the matter, pretends he has arrived late, and acts rather weak-willed.”



ὁ δὲ εἴρων τοιοῦτος τις, οἷος…καὶ μηδὲν ὧν πράττει ὁμολογῆσαι, ἀλλὰ φῆσαι βουλεύεσθαι καὶ προσποιήσασθαι ἄρτι παραγεγονέναι καὶ μαλακισθῆναι.

Theophrastus, a successor to Aristotle, wrote his Characters to provide moral education for the youth…