Eleven Perfect Lines

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¨Who is the mortal who can live forever?
The life of man is short. Only the gods

can live forever. Therefore put on new clothes,
a clean robe and a cloak tied with a sash,

and wash the filth of the journey from your body.
Eat and drink your fill of the food and drink

men eat and drink. Let there be pleasure and dancing.¨
But Gilgamesh replied to the tavern keeper:

¨Tell me the way to find the only one
of men by means of whom I might find out

how death can be avoided. Tell me the way…¨

 

from David Ferry’s ¨Gilgamesh,¨ Tablet X