“No mortal, Kurnos, makes his own success,
Nor his own ruin, for the gods bring both.
Nor is there any man who knows at heart
If in the end he works for good or bad.
Often he thinks he’ll fail, and then he wins,
Often expects to win—and then fails.
No one gets all he wants; all men stop short,
Checked by the boundaries of the possible.
We think our thoughts in vain, all ignorant,
The gods do everything just as they want.

Kurnos, no man who harms a suppliant
Or wrongs a guest can ever fool the gods.

It’s better, Kurnos, to be poor and good
Than rich and crooked, if you have to choose.
All excellence amounts to being just,
And all real gentlemen obey the rules.”

(Theogonis, Elegies)

Hesiod: 8 BCE