Anakreón: Epigram

Anakreón: Epigram

This is a short poem of two elegiac couplets (each of which consists of a hexameter and a pentameter) written by the Greek poet Anakreón that I learned in school eons ago. The trouble is, I am unable to find an original version of this epigram anywhere or even an English version, so I went by the Hungarian translation I remember (translated by Miklós Radnóti). Better let's not call it a translation but an adaptation then (or a game of Chinese whisper).

The metre is supposed to be

–** / –** / –** / –** / –** / – –  [a spondée (– –) can replace any of the dactyls bar the one in the fifth foot)

– ** / –**/ – // –** / –** / – 

 

(I did not get it perfect below)


Uhtan i quén quie séra to kaimaya yúlala limpe

Quéta pa ohtali ar serke ya nwalya i *rén

‘r fasta i nolmo ye laitea Afrorití ar i Músar,

Lissi haimentaron amlingea líre liris.

 

"I hate him who whenever lying on his bed sipping wine

is talking about war and blood that torments memory

And I like [pleases] the wise who praises Aphrodite and the Muses,

about their sweet traditions he sings a most melodic song."


If anyone's interested, this is the Hungarian version I adapted:

Gyűlölöm azt, aki telt kupa mellett bort iszogatván

háborut emleget és lélekölő viadalt.

S kedvelem azt, aki bölcs, és Afrodité meg a Múzsák

szép hagyományairól zengve szeretni tanít.


*rén n. "memory" < REN