by Anacreon (c582BCE - c485BCE)
Translation © by Lawrence Sisk

Εις εαυτον
Language: Greek (Ελληνικά) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Λέγουσιν αἱ γυναῖκες·
«Ἀνάκρεον, γέρων εἶ,
λαβὼν ἔσοπτρον ἄθρει
κόμας μὲν οὐκ ἔτ᾽ οὔσας,
ψιλὸν δέ σευ μέτωπον.»
ἐγὼ δὲ τὰς κόμας μέν,
εἴτ᾽ εἰσὶν εἴτ᾽ ἀπῆλθον,
οὐκ οἶδα· τοῦτο δ᾽ οἶδα,
ὡς τῷ γέροντι μᾶλλον
πρέπει τὸ τερπνὰ παίζειν,
ὅσῳ πέλας τὰ Μοίρης.

Show a transliteration: DIN | ISO 843

Note on Transliterations

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Carl Loewe.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Stefan Stocker.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Lawrence Sisk) , "On himself", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Ernest Falconnet) , "Sur lui-même", first published 1847


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 11
Word count: 44

On himself
Language: English  after the Greek (Ελληνικά) 
The women say:
"Anacreon, you are old.
Look at yourself in a mirror;
Your hair is gone;
Your forehead is bald."
But whether the hairs are there,
Or they have gone away,
I do not know. But this I know:
It is better for an old man
To sing and dance 
His way to his fate.

Authorship

  • Translation from Greek (Ελληνικά) to English copyright © 2019 by Lawrence Sisk, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2019-12-10
Line count: 11
Word count: 56