781. Lines from The Odyssey, by Homer

"Of mortal creatures, all that breathe and move,
earth bears none frailer than mankind. What man
believes in woe to come, so long as valor
and tough knees are supplied him by the gods?
But when gods in bliss bring miseries on,
then willy-nilly, blindly, he endures.
Our minds are as the days are, dark or bright,
blown over by the father of gods and men.

So I, too, in my time thought to be happy;
but far and rash I ventured, counting on
my own right arm, my father, and my kin;
behold me now.
                                                     No man should flout the law,
but keep in peace what gifts the gods may give.

I see you young blades living dangerously,
a household eaten up, a wife dishonored—
and yet the master will return, I tell you,
to his own place, and soon; for he is near.
So may some power take you out of this,
homeward, and softly, not to face that man
the hour he sets foot on his native ground.
Between him and the suitors I foretell
no quittance, no way out, unless by blood,
once he shall stand beneath his own roof-beam."

Gravely, when he had done, he made libation
and took a sip of honey-hearted wine,
giving the cup, then, back into the hands
of the young nobleman. Amphinomos, for his part,
shaking his head, with chill and burdened breast,
turned in the great hall.
                                                      Now his heart foreknew
the wrath to come, but he could not take flight,
being by Athena bound there.
                                                      Death would have him
broken by a spear thrown by Telemakhos.
So he sat down where he had sat before.

(trans Robert Fitzgerald)

Source:  The Odyssey: The Fitzgerald Translation