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To a Wealthy, Uncultured Woman

After Sappho, fragment 55

You may be rich, but money’s trash
the day your flesh is changed to ash.

No one will mourn when you depart,
because you paid no heed to art —

the only coin immune to rust.
Your punishment, when you are dust

and our remembrance swiftly fades:
to stray, unloved, among the shades.

Sappho, Fragment 55

κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσῃ οὐδέ ποτα μναμοσύνα σέθεν ἔσσετ' οὐδὲ πόθα εἰς ὔστερον• οὐ γὰρ πεδέχῃς βρόδων
τῶν ἐκ Πιερίας• ἀλλ' ἀφάνης κἀν Ἀίδα δόμῳ φοιτάσεις πεδ' ἀμαύρων νεκύων ἐκπεποταμένα.