Theognis

(540 BC - 480 BC / Greece)

Fragments - Lines 0667 - 0682


If I had money, Simonides, I would not feel such pain
As I do now, when in the company of the noble.
As it is, wealth recognizes me but passes by, and I am speechless
Out of want, although it would seem that I know better than most
That now, with our white sails lowered, we are being carried
Out of the Melian Sea through the murky night,
And the men refuse to bail, although the sea sweeps over
Both sides of the ship. Indeed, only with great difficulty is anyone likely to be
Saved, acting as they are: they have stopped the helmsman,
Good though he was, who kept watch skillfully;
And they are plundering the cargo by force. Discipline has perished,
And fair division is no longer carried out in an open fashion;
The deckhands are in control, and the base have the upper hand over the noble.
I am afraid that the waves may swallow up the ship.
Let this, well hidden, be my riddling message for the noble,
Though a base man too may understand it, if he is clever.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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