Sunday, August 3, 2014


would that I were not
among the men
of the fifth generation,
but either had died before
or been born afterwards.

For now truly is a race of iron,
and men never rest
from labour and sorrow by day,
and from perishing by night;
and the gods shall
lay sore trouble upon them.

But, notwithstanding,
even these shall have some good mingled
with their evils.
And Zeus will destroy this race
of mortal men also when they come to
have grey hair on the temples at their birth.

The father will not agree with his children,
nor the children with their father,
nor guest with his host,
nor comrade with comrade;
nor will brother be dear to brother
as a foretime.

Men will dishonour their parents
as they grow quickly old,
and will carp at them,
chiding them with bitter words,
hard-hearted they,
not knowing the fear of the gods.

They will not repay
their aged parents
the cost their nurture,
for might shall be their right:
and one man
will sack another's city.

There will be no favour
for the man who keeps his oath
or for the just or for the good;
but rather men will praise
the evil-doer
and his violent dealing.

Strength will be right and
reverence will cease to be;
and the wicked
will hurt the worthy man,
speaking false words against him,
and will swear an oath upon them.

Envy, foul-mouthed,
delighting in evil,
with scowling face,
will go along
with wretched men
one and all.


And then Aidos and Nemesis,
with their sweet forms
wrapped in white robes,
will go from the wide-pathed earth
and forsake mankind to join
the company of the deathless gods:
and bitter sorrows
will be left for mortal men,
and there will be no help against evil.

(Hesiod – Works nad Days)

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