Heraclitus

Original Text: 
[William Johnson Cory,] Ionica, 2nd edn. (London and Orpington: George Allen, 1891), p. 7. PR 4507 C57I6 1891 Robarts Library.
2They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
3I wept, as I remembered, how often you and I
4Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.
6A handful of grey ashes, long long ago at rest,
7Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
8For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.

Notes

1] Heraclitus: Greek philosopher (ca. 540-ca. 400 BC), pre-Socratic founder of an Ionian school, whose principal tenet was change in all things. Cory translates an epigram of Callimachus, which in A. W. Mair's translation of the Greek is as follows: "One told me, Heracleitus, of thy death and brought me to tears, and I remembered how often we two in talking put the sun to rest. Thou, methinks, Halicarnasian friend, art askes long and long ago; but thy nightingales live still, whereon Hades, snatcher of all things, shall not lay his hand" (Callimachus, ed. A. W. Mair, Loeb Classical Library [1921; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960], p. 139, Epigram II; PA 3945 A2 Robarts Library). Back to Line
5] Carian: of Caria, part of southwest Asia Minor. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1891
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: