Alas, how right the ancient saying is:
We, who are old, are nothing else but noise
And shape. Like mimicries of dreams we go,
And have no wits, although we think us wise.
[φεῦ φεῦ, παλαιὸς αἶνος ὡς καλῶς ἔχει·
γέροντες οὐδέν ἐσμεν ἄλλο πλὴν ψόφος
καὶ σχῆμ’, ὀνείρων δ’ ἕρπομεν μιμήματα·
νοῦς δ’ οὐκ ἔνεστιν, οἰόμεσθα δ’ εὖ φρονεῖν.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Æolus [Αἴολος], frag. 25 (TGF) [tr. Bowra (1938)]

Nauck frag. 25, Barnes frag. 56, Musgrave frag. 18. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

How true this antient saying; we old men
Are nought but trouble, and an empty shadow,
We crawl about, the semblances of dreams.
And of our mental faculties deprived.
Still fancy we with wisdom are endued.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

Oh, alas, how true the ancient saying is: we old men are nothing but noise and mere shapes, and we move as imitations of dreams; there is no intelligence in us, yet we think we have good sense.
[tr. Collard & Cropp (2008)]

Alas, the ancient proverb holds well:
We old men are nothing other than a sound
and an image, lurking imitations of dreams.
We have no mind and but we think we know how to think well.
[tr. @sentantiq (2014)]

Added on 16-Apr-24 | Last updated 16-Apr-24
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