I change my mind, the infinitive vivere would be a very good choice here. Certamen may be the word you are looking for, it suggests a struggle and competition. Pugna is quite literally a fight or battle. You definitely shouldn't go with battera, since it is not a Classical Latin word. Whatever of these you choose, it will be accurate, we just want it to be as apt as possible.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae