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

Εις εαυτον
Language: Greek (Ελληνικά) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ἐπειδὴ βροτὸσ ἐτύχθην
βιότου τρίβον ὁβεύειν,
χρόνον ἔγνων, δν παρῆλθον,
δν δ ̓ ἔχω δραμεῖν, οὐχ οἴδα.
Μέθετ ̓ οὔν με φροντίδεσ δή,
μηδε’ν μοι χαὶ ὑμῖν ἔστω.
Πρὶν ἐμὲ φθάσῃ τὸ τέλοσ,
παίξω, γελάσω, χορεύσω,
μετὰτοῦ χαλοῦ Λυαίου.

Show a transliteration: DIN | ISO 843

Note on Transliterations


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 , "An sich selbst" ; composed by Carl Loewe.

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: 9
Word count: 39

On himself
Language: English  after the Greek (Ελληνικά) 
As I, a mortal, happened
to travel the road of life,
I came to know time, which passed.
How far I still have to run, I do not know.
Release me, wine, from my cares;
Let them be nothing to me and you.
Before I reach the end
I shall play, laugh and dance
with the handsome Lyaeus.

Translator's note for line -1: Lyaeus is an epithet of Dionysus, who frees men from cares.


  • 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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2019-12-10
Line count: 9
Word count: 58