by: Posidippus

      HAT course of life should wretched mortals take?
      In courts hard questions large contention make:
      Care dwells in houses, labor in the field,
      Tumultuous seas affrighting dangers yield.
      In foreign lands thou never canst be blessed;
      If rich, thou art in fear; if poor, distressed.
      In wedlock frequent discontentments swell;
      Unmarried persons as in deserts dwell.
      How many troubles are with children born;
      Yet he that wants them counts himself forlorn.
      Young men are wanton, and of wisdom void;
      Gray hairs are cold, unfit to be employed.
      Who would not one of these two offers choose,
      Not to be born, or breath with speed to lose?

This English translation, by Sir John Beaumont, of "Life a Bane" is reprinted from Greek Poets in English Verse. Ed. William Hyde Appleton. Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1893.


  • Posidippus - A biographical note on the Greek dramatist Posidippus.


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