If a man obeys the gods they're quick to hear his prayers.
How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!
- Strife, only a slight thing when she first rears her head
- but her head soon hits the sky as she strides across the earth.
Even a fool learns something once it hits him.
Sleep, delicious and profound, the very counterfeit of death.
- Each future day increase of wealth shall bring,
- And o'er the past Oblivion stretch her wing.
- There is nothing alive more agonized than man
- of all that breathe and crawl across the earth.
- 'Tis the wine that leads me on,
- the wild wine
- that sets the wisest man to sing
- at the top of his lungs,
- laugh like a fool it drives the
- man to dancing ... it even
- tempts him to blurt out stories
- better never told.
- And fate? No one alive has ever escaped it,
- neither brave man nor coward, I tell you--
- it's born with us the day that we are born.
Beware the toils of war ... the mesh of the huge dragnet sweeping up the world.
The worst cowards, banded together, have their power.
Each man delights in the work that suits him best.
- A man's life breath cannot come back again--
- no raiders in force, no trading brings it back,
- once it slips through a man's clenched teeth.
Fear also the gods' anger, lest they, astonished by evil actions, turn against you.
Wolves and lambs can enjoy no meeting of the minds.
Out of sight,out of mind.
The proof of battle is action, proof of words, debate.
The blade itself incites to deeds of violence.
For never, never, wicked man was wise.
The gods won't give us all their gifts at once.
Ah how shameless the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone they say come all their miseries yes but they themselves with their own reckless ways compound their pains beyond their proper share.
- Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men.
- Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth,
- now the living timber bursts with the new buds
- and spring comes round again. And so with men:
- as one generation comes to life, another dies away.
Love deceives the best of womankind.
The natural thing, my lord, men and women joined.
All men need the gods.
These things surely lie on the knees of the gods.
Too many kings can ruin an army -- mob rule!
Death submits to no one.
- Oh, pity human woe!
- 'Tis what the happy to the unhappy owe.
- Ruin is strong and swift--
- She outstrips them all by far, stealing a march,
- leaping over the whole wide earth to bring mankind to grief.
- That is the gods' work, spinning threads of death
- through the lives of mortal men,
- an all to make a song for those to come.
When soldiers break and run, good-bye glory.
The god of war is impartial: he hands out death to the man who hands out death.
Anger stirs up lies.
- So the immortals spun our lives that we, we wretched men
- live on to bear such torments -- the gods live free of sorrows.
Of all creatures that breathe and move upon the earth, nothing is bred that is weaker than man.
- There are two great jars that stand on the floor of Zeus's halls
- and hold his gifts, our miseries one, the other blessings.
The will of Zeus will always overpower the will of men.
some things you will think of yourself ... some things God will put into your mind.
Better to live or die, once and for all, than die by inches.
- The skin of the coward changes color all the time,
- he can't get a grip on himself, he can't sit still,
- he squats and rocks, shifting his weight from foot to foot,
- his heart racing, pounding inside the fellow's ribs,
- his teeth chattering -- he dreads some grisly death.
- But the skin of the brave soldier never blanches.
- A guest remembers all of his days
- that host who makes provisions for him kindly.
- But the great leveler, Death: not even the gods
- can defend a man, not even one they love, that day
- when fate takes hold and lays him out at last.
Victory shifts, you know, now one man, now another.
I hate that man like the very Gates of Death who says one thing but hides another in his heart.
- Wretched mortals ...
- like leaves, no sooner flourishing, full of the sun's fire,
- feeding on earth's gifts, than they waste away and die.
There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.
When a man stands up to speak, it's well to listen. Not to interrupt him, the only courteous thing. Even the finest speaker finds intrusions hard.
For a friend with an understanding heart is worth no less than a brother.
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