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.

This entry was posted in Greek Epigram, Nachleben. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Worthy of the Greek Anthology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *