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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Praxilla of Sicyon: What I leave behind

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The body of a suspected Ebola victim lies in a street in the town of Koidu in eastern Sierra Leone
: photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters via the Guardian, 20 December 2014


Loveliest of what I leave behind is the sunlight,
and loveliest after that the shining stars, and the moon's face,
but also cucumbers that are ripe, and pears, and apples.





κάλλιστον μὲν ἐγὼ λείπω φάος ἠελίοιο,
δεύτερον ἄστρα φαεινὰ σεληναίης τε πρόσωπον
ἠδὲ καὶ ὡραίους σικύους καὶ μῆλα καὶ ὄγχνας·



Praxilla of Sicyon (5th c, BC):  Fragment 747; the fragment comes from a hymn to Adonis; these lines are spoken by Adonis, in response to a question from the shades in the underworld ("What was the most beautiful thing you left behind?"); English by Richard Lattimore in Greek Lyrics, 1960




 A grave-digger sleeps near the graves of Ebola victims at a cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone: photo by Baz Ratner/Reuters via the Guardian, 20 December 2014

 
Quarantined homes on Smart Lane, Freetown, Sierra Leone: photo by Sarah Boseley for The Guardian, 13 December 2014
 

 
Members of an ambulance service disinfect a room in a village 30 miles north of Monrovia, Liberia: photo by Jerome Delay/AP via The Guardian, 12 December 2014
 


Mourners in Wellington, a western area of Freetown, pray before the body of a suspected Ebola victim is taken away for burial: photo by Sarah Boseley for The Guardian, 14 December 2014



Family and friends of a man who died of suspected Ebola gather outside his house in Wellington, a western area of Freetown: photo by Sarah Boseley for The Guardian, 14 December 2014
 

 
The carcass of a fin whale on Retamar beach in Almeria, Spain: photo by Equinac/Barcroft Media via The Guardian, 20 December 2014


The carcass of a fin whale on Retamar beach in Almeria, Spain: photo by Equinac/Barcroft Media via The Guardian, 20 December 2014