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Greek translation Greek dictionariesPoetry by Meng-tze, Spiros Doikas (tr)
   When a man has reached old age...

When a man has reached old age...

When a man has reached old age
And has fulfilled his mission,
He has a right to confront
The idea of death in peace.
He has no need of other men;
He knows them and knows enough about them.
What he needs is peace.
It isn't good to visit this man or to talk to him,
To make him suffer banalities.
One must give a wide berth
To the door of his house,
As if no one lived there.

Όταν κάποιος έχει γεράσει...

Όταν κάποιος έχει γεράσει
και έχει το έργο του τελειώσει
έχει δικαίωμα στη γαλήνη, να πιάσει φιλία
με το θάνατο.
Δε χρειάζεται τους ανθρώπους. Τους γνωρίζει .
τους έχει μάθει πια καλά.
Κείνο που του χρειάζεται είν' η γαλήνη.
Δεν είναι δίκαιο να τον γυρεύεις, να τον ζυγώνεις,
και να τον εξοργίζεις με ανοησίες.
Αντίθετα, είναι σωστό να προσπερνάς την πόρτα
του σπιτιού του σα να μην έμενε κανείς εκεί.

About Meng-tze

 Meng-tze, or Mencius (c.371 - c.289 BC), was one of the greatest important early Confucian thinkers. His development of orthodox Confucianism earned for him the title second Sage, next only to Confucius. Meng-tze's philosophy called for a democratic society, based on the belief that man's nature is basically good. He emphasized the obligation of rulers to provide for the common people.

 Read how Herman Hesse used this poem.


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