Longing, Not Envy in the Heart

Sententiae Antiquae posted a selection from the Anacreonta very much in line with my last post:

“I am aching for the dances
Of playful Dionysus–
I am in love with playing the lye
with a young man as companion.
And I just adore most of all
Crowing my head with hyacinths
To play games along with the girls.

I have no envy in my heart,
I know no biting envy at all.
I stay away from the light attacks
Of critical tongues.
And I loathe the drunken fights.

At joyous feasts
With youthful ladies,
I hope to take life easy
Dancing to songs on the lyre

ποθέω μὲν Διονύσου
φιλοπαίγμονος χορείας,
φιλέω δ᾿, ὅταν ἐφήβου
μετὰ συμπότου λυρίζω·
στεφανίσκους δ᾿ ὑακίνθων
κροτάφοισιν ἀμφιπλέξας
μετὰ παρθένων ἀθύρειν
φιλέω μάλιστα πάντων.

φθόνον οὐκ οἶδ᾿ ἐμὸν ἦτορ,
φθόνον οὐκ οἶδα δαϊκτήν.
φιλολοιδόροιο γλώττης
φεύγω βέλεμνα κοῦφα·
στυγέω μάχας παροίνους.

πολυκώμους κατὰ δαῖτας
νεοθηλέσιν ἅμα κούραις
ὑπὸ βαρβίτῳ χορεύων
βίον ἥσυχον φέροιμι.

And illustrated it with this lovely Hellenistic sarcophagus depicting Dionysos surrounded by his retinue of raucous revelers:

Fun fact: our national anthem is based on a modern symposiatic song, “To Anacreon in Heaven” showing how apt the Norse designation for this country was, Vínland or “Wine Land.”