Epigram 7.472.a

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Codex Palatinus 23 p. 281
Codex Palatinus 23 p. 282


μυρίος ἦν, ἄνθρωπε, χρόνος προτοῦ, ἄχρι πρὸς ἠῶ
ἦλθες, χὠ λοιπὸς μυρίος εἰς ἀίδην.
τίς μοῖρα ζωῆς ὑπολείπεται, ἢ ὅσον ὅσσον
στιγμὴ καὶ στιγμῆς εἴ τι χαμηλότερον;
μικρή σευ ζωὴ τεθλιμμένη: οὐδὲ γὰρ αὐτὴ
ἡδεῖ᾽, ἀλλ᾽ ἐχθροῦ στυγνοτέρη θανάτου.
ἐκ τοίης ὥνθρωποι ἀπηκριβωμένοι ὀστῶν
ἁρμονίης, †† ὕψιστ᾽ ἠέρα καὶ νεφέλας:
ὦνερ, ἴδ᾽ ὡς ἀχρεῖον, ἐπεὶ περὶ νήματος ἄκρον
εὐλὴ ἀκέρκιστον λῶπος ἐφεζομένη:
οἷον τὸ † † ψαλα, θρῖον ἀπεψιλωμένον οἷον,
πόλλον ἀραχναίου στυγνότερον σκελετοῦ.
ἠοῦν ἐξ ἠοῦς ὅσσον σθένος, ὦνερ, ἐρευνῶν
εἴης ἐν λιτῇ κεκλιμένος βιοτῇ:
αἰὲν τοῦτο νόῳ μεμνημένος ἄχρις ὁμιλῇς
ζωοῖς, ἐξ οἵης ἡρμόνισαι καλάμης.

— Paton edition

Man, infinite was the time ere thou camest to
the light, and infinite will be the time to come
in Hades. What is the portion of life that remains
to thee, but a pin-prick, or if there be aught tinier
than a pin-prick ? A little life and a sorrowful is
thine ; for even that little is not sweet, but more
odious than death the enemy. Men built as ye
are, of such a frame of bones, do ye lift yourselves
up to the air and the clouds ? See, man, how
little use it is ; for at the end of the thread
a worm seated on the loosely woven vesture
reduces it to a thing like a skeleton leaf, a thing
more loathly than a cobweb. Enquire of thyself at
the dawn of every day, O man, what thy strength is
and learn to lie low, content with a simple life ;
ever remembering in thy heart, as long as thou
dwellest among the living, from what stalks of straw
thou art pieced together.

— Paton edition




Internal reference

Epigram 7.472b

External references