— Homér, Odissea
XI. 489–492 (tr. Robert Fagles); Achilles' ghost to Odysseus.
Alexander Pope's translation:
: Rather I'd choose laboriously to bear
A weight of woes, and breathe the vital air,
A slave to some poor hind that toils for bread,
Than reign the sceptred monarch of the dead.
With many a weary step, and many a groan,
Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone;
The huge round stone, resulting with a bound,
Thunders impetuous down, and smokes along the ground. P. S. Worsley's translation:
: Rather would I, in the sun's warmth divine,
Serve a poor churl who drags his days in grief,
Than the whole lordship of the dead were mine.
Odyssey (c. 725 BC)
Originale: (el) βουλοίμην κ' ἐπάρουρος ἐὼν θητευέμεν ἄλλῳ,
ἀνδρὶ παρ' ἀκλήρῳ, ᾧ μὴ βίοτος πολὺς εἴη,
ἢ πᾶσιν νεκύεσσι καταφθιμένοισιν ἀνάσσειν.