Nov 212010

I cannot promise at my hearth
great slabs of beef, and gold,
and deep red carpet,
but only the loving-kindness
of your host, and music,
and clay crocks of local wine.

translated by Brooks Haxton

Nov 202010

You were not alone in keeping your hands off live things; we do so too; who touches live food, Pythagoras? but we eat what has been boiled and roasted and pickled, and there is no life in it then.

XLV [author unknown] Translation by J.W. Mackail

Nov 202010

Will, lost in a sea of trouble,
Rise, save yourself from the whirlpool
Of the enemies of willing.
Courage exposes ambushes.
Steadfastness destroys enemies.
Keep your victories hidden.
Do not sulk over defeat.
Accept good. Bend before evil.
Learn the rhythm which binds all men.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Nov 202010

The hunter in the hills
tracks down
every hare and every roe
crackling on
through frost and snow.
If someone says
“Here’s a beast already shot,”
He leaves it there.
So too my lust
pants to chase
what runs away
but flits on past
what’s there to stay.

translated by Stanley Lombardo and Diane Rayor

Nov 202010

All things by nature are ready to get worse,
Lapse backward, fall away from what they were,
Just as if one who struggles to row his little
Boat upstream against a powerful current
Should but for a moment relax his arms, the current
Would carry him headlong back again downstream.

translated by David Ferry