1. Archilochos Drinks

Series Title
Archilochos Suite
Michael Ayrton (British, 1921 – 1975)
Plate : 11 3/4 x 10 in. (29.85 x 25.4 cm)
Sheet : 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:

My barley bread is kneaded in my spear

And in my spear flows my Ismarian wine
Leaning upon my spear, I drink.

I serve the lord Enyalios, but I know
the Muses’ lovely gift.

I am not jealous of Gyges, nor his gold
nor envy the gods their power, nor lust for kingdoms.
I do not spare a glance beyond my craft.

They’ll say I really was a Carian mercenary…

Heart in confusion, faltering start to beat.
Rise and ward off the spears of foes and fight.
Winning, disdain display. Defeat’s no reason to collapse and moan.
If you are grieved, then grieve. In joy, rejoice,
indulging in excess of neither one.
What must be done is recognise a rhythm.

Object Type
Academic Themes
Literary Connections