A boy, an ungrown child, in seven years puts forth
a line of teeth and loses them again;
but when another seven God has made complete,
the first signs of maturity appear.
In the third hebdomad he’s growing yet, his chin
is fuzzy, and his skin is changing hue,
while in the fourth one, each achieves his peak of strength,
the thing that settles whether men are men.
The fifth is time a man should think of being wed
and look for sons to carry on his line;
and by the sixth he’s altogether sensible,
no more disposed to acts of fecklessness.
With seven hebdomads and eight — fourteen more years –
wisdom and eloquence are at their peak,
while in the ninth, though he’s still capable, his tongue
and expertise have lost some of their force.
Should he complete the tenth and reach the measured line,
not before time he’d have his due of death.
(Solon, Fr. 27, tr. M. L. West)