Worthy of the Greek Anthology

. . . and probably influenced by it. This scoptic epitaph is entitled “De Erastenes, Medico” in the cheap paperback edition in which I found it (Rimas de Lope de Vega, ed. Gerardo Diego, Madrid, 1979), “De Erásthenes Medico” (with an H) on the Virtual Cervantes site. I wonder if the name should be Eratost(h)enes. Either way, the title requires no gloss. Here is the text, with a rough translation:

Enseñé, no me escucharon;
escribí, no me leyeron;
curé mal, no me entendieron;
maté, no me castigaron;

Ya con morir satisfice;
oh muerte, quiero quejarme,
bien pudieras perdonarme
por servicios que te hice.

I lectured, they did not listen to me;
I wrote, they did not read me;
I ministered badly, they did not understand;
I killed, they did not punish me;

Now, by dying, I have paid in full.
Death, I wish to lodge a complaint:
you might well have pardoned me
for my services to you.

I suppose I should leaf through Book XI of the Anthology to see whether this is modeled on some particular epigram or just written in the same spirit as quite a few of them.

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2 Responses to Worthy of the Greek Anthology

  1. Don says:

    Are you in a position to appreciate my recent translation from the Chinese?

    Si chuan ren bu pao la de
    Hu nan ren pao bu la de.

    Sichuan folk don’t fear food that’s hot.
    But Hunan folk fear food that’s not.

  2. Chris Weimer says:

    Argh, Liber XI is found in Loeb volume IV, the only one I don’t have. Let me know if you ever follow up on this.

    Chris

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