the impossible refuge

Experience and suffering
are the mother of wisdom.

Be happy in your own soul.
Among pitiless townsmen
one will always abuse you,
another speak praise.

When a man is dead
one can find no medicine
to bring him life.

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Nanno

What life is there, what delight, without golden Aphrodite ?
Frankly, I would rather be dead than ignore
a girl’s warm surrender, her soft arms in bed
at night, the lovely flower of youth that all women
and men desire!
When old age comes
a man feels feeble and ugly and crawls under
a crushing sorrow.
He loses the simple joy
of looking at the sun.
Children despise him.
He is repulsive to young women — in this sad
blind alley which God has made of old age.

Mimnermus