Mimnermus, Fragments

LCL 258: 82-83

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Elegiac Poetry

2 Stob. 4.34.12


ἡμεῖς δ᾿, οἷά τε φύλλα φύει πολυάνθεμος ὥρη ἔαρος, ὅτ᾿ αἶψ᾿ αὐγῇς αὔξεται ἠελίου, τοῖς ἴκελοι πήχυιον ἐπὶ χρόνον ἄνθεσιν ἥβης τερπόμεθα, πρὸς θεῶν εἰδότες οὔτε κακὸν 5οὔτ᾿ ἀγαθόν· Κῆρες δὲ παρεστήκασι μέλαιναι, ἡ μὲν ἔχουσα τέλος γήραος ἀργαλέου, ἡ δ᾿ ἑτέρη θανάτοιο· μίνυνθα δὲ γίνεται ἥβης καρπός, ὅσον τ᾿ ἐπὶ γῆν κίδναται ἠέλιος. αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν δὴ τοῦτο τέλος παραμείψεται ὥρης, 10αὐτίκα δὴ τεθνάναι βέλτιον ἢ βίοτος· πολλὰ γὰρ ἐν θυμῷ κακὰ γίνεται· ἄλλοτε οἶκος τρυχοῦται, πενίης δ᾿ ἔργ᾿ ὀδυνηρὰ πέλει· ἄλλος δ᾿ αὖ παίδων ἐπιδεύεται, ὧν τε μάλιστα ἱμείρων κατὰ γῆς ἔρχεται εἰς Ἀΐδην· 15ἄλλος νοῦσον ἔχει θυμοφθόρον· οὐδέ τίς ἐστιν ἀνθρώπων ᾧ Ζεὺς μὴ κακὰ πολλὰ διδοῖ.

3 Stob. 4.50.32

Μιμνέρμου SM (Μενάνδρου A)·

τὸ πρὶν ἐὼν κάλλιστος, ἐπὴν παραμείψεται ὥρη, οὐδὲ πατὴρ παισὶν τίμιος οὔτε φίλος.



2 Stobaeus, Anthology

From Mimnermus:

We are like the leaves which the flowery season of spring brings forth, when they quickly grow beneath the rays of the sun; like them we delight in the flowers of youth for an arm’s length of time, knowing neither the bad nor the good that comes from the gods.1 But the dark spirits of doom stand beside us, one holding grievous old age as the outcome, the other death. Youth’s fruit is short-lived, lasting as long as the sunlight spreads over the earth.2 And when the end of this season passes by, straightway death is better than life. For many are the miseries that beset one’s heart. Sometimes a man’s estate wastes away and a painful life of poverty is his; another in turn lacks sons and longing for them most of all he goes beneath the earth to Hades; another has soul-destroying illness. There is no one to whom Zeus does not give a multitude of ills.

3 Stobaeus, Anthology

From Mimnermus:

When his season (of youth) passes, not even a father who was once most handsome is honoured or loved by his sons.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.mimnermus-fragments.1999