„Some Saian mountaineer
Struts today with my shield.
I threw it down by a bush and ran
When the fighting got hot.
Life seemed somehow more precious.
It was a beautiful shield.
I know where I can buy another
Exactly like it, just as round.“
— Archilochus Ancient Greek lyric poet -680 - -645 BC
Variant: A Saian boasts about the shield which beside a bush
though good armour I unwillingly left behind.
I saved myself, so what do I care about the shield?
To hell with it! I'll get one soon just as good.
Variant: I don't give a damn if some Thracian ape strut
Proud of that first-rate shield the bushes got.
Leaving it was hell, but in a tricky spot
I kept my hide intact. Good shields can be bought. (as translated by Stuart Silverman)
Variant: Let who will boast their courage in the field,
I find but little safety from my shield.
Nature's, not honour's, law we must obey:
This made me cast my useless shield away,
And by a prudent flight and cunning save
A life, which valour could not, from the grave.
A better buckler I can soon regain;
But who can get another life again?