6. Poseiden's Gifts

Series Title
Archilochos Suite
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921 – 1975)
Plate : 11 3/4 x 10 in. (29.85 x 25.4 cm)
: 18 1/4 x 15 1/4 in. (46.36 x 38.74 cm)
Mat : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection, Gift of Jacob E. and Leona M. Nyenhuis
Object Number

The poetic verses by Archilochos translated by Michael Ayrton and selected by him to accompany this image:

Let us hide the painful gifts of the Lord Poseidon...

On the open sea, grey, salt, high curled as hair,
we pray often, all of us, pray for a safe return...

Of fifty men, Poseidon, lord of horses, left only Koiranos.

...having their souls in the embrace of waves...

For it is not noble to sneer at those who died.

How can we feast in the city, Perikles, when we must mourn
With proper grief those lost in the pounding sea?
They are submerged; we grieve with swollen lungs,
but the gods, my friend, give us the strength to hold,
to endure the bloody wound and cease to weep.
Such a turn will come to others another time,
but since our time is now, let us face the facts;
tears are for women; put them aside and quick.

Object Type
Academic Themes
Literary Connections