Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology
J. W. Mackail
Part 3 out of 6
The cup is glad for sweetness, and says that it touches the sweet-
voiced mouth of love's darling, Zenophile. Happy! would that now,
bringing up her lips to my lips, she would drink at one draught the
very soul in me.
LOVE THE RUNAWAY
I make hue and cry after wild Love; for now, even now in the morning
dusk, he flew away from his bed and was gone. This boy is full of
sweet tears, ever talking, swift, fearless, sly-laughing, winged on
the back, and carries a quiver. But whose son he is I may not say, for
Heaven denies having borne this ruffler, and so Earth and so Sea.
Everywhere and by all he is hated; but look you to it lest haply even
now he is laying more springes for souls. Yet--there he is, see! about
his lurking-place; I see thee well, my archer, ambushed in Zenophile's
Our friend was wounded, and we knew it not; how bitter a sigh, mark
you? he drew all up his breast. Lo, he was drinking the third time,
and shedding their petals from the fellow's garlands the roses all
poured to the ground. He is well in the fire, surely; no, by the gods,
I guess not at random; a thief myself, I know a thief's footprints.
THE MAD LOVER
A man wounded by a rabid dog's venom sees, they say, the beast's image
in all water. Surely mad Love has fixed his bitter tooth in me, and
made my soul the prey of his frenzies; for both the sea and the eddies
of rivers and the wine-carrying cup show me thy image, beloved.
LOVE AT THE VINTAGE
We, as we trod the infinite fruit of Iacchus, mingled and wound in the
rhythm of the revel, and now the fathomless flood flowed down, and
like boats our cups of ivy-wood swam on the sweet surges; dipping
wherewith, we drank just as it lay at our hand, nor missed the warm
water-nymphs overmuch. But beautiful Rhodanthe leant over the
winepress, and with the splendours of her beauty lit up the welling
stream; and swiftly all our hearts were fluttered, nor was there one
of us but was overcome by Bacchus and the Paphian. Alas for us! he ran
plenteous at our feet, but for her, hope played with us, and no more.
I will twine the white violet and I will twine the delicate narcissus
with myrtle buds, and I will twine laughing lilies, and I will twine
the sweet crocus, and I will twine therewithal the crimson hyacinth,
and I will twine lovers' roses, that on balsam-curled Heliodora's
temples my garland may shed its petals over the lovelocks of her hair.
She is carried off! What savage could do so cruel a deed? Who so high
as to raise battle against very Love? Light torches, quick! and yet--a
footfall; Heliodora's; go back into my breast, O my heart.
LOVE IN SPRING
Now the white violet blooms, and blooms the moist narcissus, and bloom
the mountain-wandering lilies; and now, dear to her lovers, spring
flower among the flowers, Zenophile, the sweet rose of Persuasion, has
burst into bloom. Meadows, why idly laugh in the brightness of your
tresses? for my girl is better than garlands sweet to smell.
Shrill-crying gnats, shameless suckers of the blood of men, two-winged
monsters of the night, for a little, I beseech you, leave Zenophile to
sleep a quiet sleep, and see, make your feast of flesh from my limbs.
Yet to what end do I talk in vain? even relentless wild beasts take
delight in nestling on her delicate skin. But once more now I proclaim
it, O evil brood, cease your boldness or you shall know the force of
PARTING AT DAWN
Farewell, Morning Star, herald of dawn, and quickly come again as the
Evening Star, bringing secretly her whom thou takest away.
DEARER THAN DAY
"Fare thou well," I would say to thee; and again I check my voice and
rein it backward, and again I stay beside thee; for I shrink from the
terrible separation from thee as from the bitter night of Acheron; for
the light of thee is like the day. Yet that, I think, is voiceless,
but thou bringest me also that murmuring talk of thine, sweeter than
the Sirens', whereon all my soul's hopes are hung.
THE MORNING STAR
Morning Star, do not Love violence, neither learn, neighbour as thou
art to Mars, to have a heart that pities not; but as once before,
seeing Phaethon in Clymene's chamber, thou heldest not on thy fleet-
foot course from the east, even so on the skirts of night, the night
that so hardly has lightened on my desire, come lingering as though
among the Cimmerians.
ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA
Grey dawn is over, Chrysilla, and ere now the morning cock clarisoning
leads on the envious Lady of Morn. Be thou accursed, most envious of
birds, who drivest me from my home to the endless chattering of the
young men. Thou growest old, Tithonus; else why dost thou chase Dawn
thy bedfellow out of her couch while yet morning is so young?
Grey dawn, why, O unloving, risest thou so swift round my bed, where
but now I nestled close to dear Demo? Would God thou wouldst turn thy
fleet course backward and be evening, thou shedder of the sweet light
that is so bitter to me. For once before, for Zeus and his Alcmena,
thou wentest contrary; thou art not unlessoned in running backward.
Grey dawn, why, O unloving, rollest thou now so slow round the world,
since another is shrouded and warm by Demo? but when I held her
delicate form to my breast, swift thou wert upon us, shedding on me a
light that seemed to rejoice in my grief.
Cleophantis lingers long; and the third lamp now begins to give a
broken glimmer as it silently wastes away. And would that the
firebrand in my heart too were quenched with the lamp, and did not
burn me long in wakeful desires. Ah how often she swore by the
Cytherean that she would be here at evenfall; but she recks not of
either men or gods.
WAITING IN VAIN
Nico the renowned consented to come to me at nightfall and swore by
the holy Lady of Laws; and she is not come, and the watch is gone by;
did she mean to forswear herself? Servants, put out the lamp.
THE SCORNED LOVER
O Night, thee and none other I take to witness, how Nico's Pythias
flouts me, traitress as she is; asked, not unasked am I come; may she
yet blame thee in the selfsame plight standing by my doors!
All night long I sob; and when grey dawn rises and grants me a little
grace of rest, the swallows cry around and about me, and bring me back
to tears, thrusting sweet slumber away: and my unclosing eyes keep
vigil, and the thought of Rhodanthe returns again in my bosom. O
envious chatterers, be still; it was not I who shore away Philomela's
tongue; but weep for Itylus on the mountains, and sit wailing by the
hoopoe's court, that we may sleep a little; and perchance a dream will
come and clasp me round with Rhodanthe's arms.
THE LOVE LETTER
Rufinus to Elpis, my most sweet: well and very well be with her, if
she can be well away from me. No longer can I bear, no, by thine eyes,
my solitary and unmated severance from thee, but evermore blotted with
tears I go to Coressus or to the temple of the great Artemis; but
tomorrow my home shall receive me, and I will fly to thy face and bid
thee a thousand greetings.
LOVE AND REASON
My soul forewarns me to flee the desire of Heliodora, knowing well the
tears and jealousies of old. She talks; but I have no strength to
flee, for, shameless that she is, she forewarns, and while she
forewarns, she loves.
ODI ET AMO
Take this message, Dorcas; lo again a second and a third time, Dorcas,
take her all my message; run; delay no longer; fly. Wait a little,
Dorcas, prithee a little; Dorcas, whither so fast before learning all
I would say? And add to what I have just said--but no, I go on like a
fool; say nothing at all--only that--say everything; spare not to say
everything. Yet why do I send thee out, Dorcas, when myself, see, I go
forth with thee?
LOOKING AND LIKING
Eyes, how long are you draining the nectar of the Loves, rash drinkers
of the strong unmixed wine of beauty? let us run far away, as far as
we have strength to go, and in calm I will pour sober offerings to
Cypris the Placable. But if haply there likewise I be caught by the
sting, be you wet with chill tears and doomed for ever to bear
deserved pain; since from you, alas! it was that we fell into all this
labour of fire.
Dost thou then also, Philinna, carry longing in thee, dost thou
thyself also sicken and waste away with tearless eyes? or is thy sleep
most sweet to thee, while of our care thou makest neither count nor
reckoning? Thou wilt find thy fate likewise, and thy haughty cheek I
shall see wetted with fast-falling tears. For the Cyprian in all else
is malign, but one virtue is in her lot, hatred of proud beauties.
At evening Galatea slammed-to the doors in my face, flinging at me a
speech of scorn. "Scorn breaks love"; idly wanders this proverb; her
scorn inflames my love-madness the more. For I swore I would stay a
year away from her; out and alas! but with break of day I went to make
Constantia, nay verily! I heard the name and thought it beautiful, but
thou art to me more bitter than death. And thou fliest him who loves
thee, and him who loves thee not thou pursuest, that he may love thee
and thou mayest fly him once again.
So mayest thou slumber, Conopion, as thou makest me sleep here in the
chill doorway; so mayest thou slumber, most cruel, as thou lullest thy
lover asleep; but not even in a dream hast thou known compassion. The
neighbours pity me, but thou not even in a dream; but the silver hair
will remind thee of all this by and by.
Golden-horned Moon, thou seest this, and you fiery-shining Stars whom
Ocean takes into his breast, how perfume-breathing Ariste has gone and
left me alone, and this is the sixth day I cannot find the witch. But
we will seek her notwithstanding; surely I will send the silver
sleuth-hounds of the Cyprian on her track.
Lady of Night, twy-horned, lover of nightlong revels, shine, O Moon,
shine, darting through the latticed windows; shed thy splendour on
golden Callistion; thine immortality may look down unchidden on the
deeds of lovers; thou dost bless both her and me, I know, O Moon; for
thy soul too was fired by Endymion.
LOVE AND THE STARS
On the stars thou gazest, my Star; would I were heaven, that I might
look on thee with many eyes.
Would I were a pink rose, that fastening me with thine hands thou
mightest grant me grace of thy snowy breast.
Would I were a white lily, that fastening me with thine hands thou
mightest satisfy me with the nearness of thy body.
LOVE AND SLEEP
Thou sleepest, Zenophile, dainty girl; would that I had come to thee
now, a wingless sleep, upon thine eyelids, that not even he, even he
who charms the eyes of Zeus, might come nigh thee, but myself had held
thee, I thee alone.
SLAYER AND HEALER
I have a wound of love, and from my wound flows ichor of tears, and
the gash is never staunched; for I am at my wits' end for misery, and
no Machaon sprinkles soothing drugs on me in my need. I am Telephus, O
maiden, but be thou my true Achilles; with thy beauty allay the
longing as thou didst kindle it.
LOVE THE GAMBLER
Still in his mother's lap, a child playing with dice in the morning,
Love played my life away.
Bitter wave of Love, and restless gusty Jealousies and wintry sea of
revellings, whither am I borne? and the rudders of my spirit are quite
cast loose; shall we sight delicate Scylla once again?
Soul that weepest sore, how is Love's wound that was allayed in thee
inflaming through thy heart again! nay, nay, for God's sake, nay for
God's sake, O infatuate, stir not the fire that flickers low among the
ashes. For soon, O oblivious of thy pains, so sure as Love catches
thee in flight, again he will torture his found runaway.
LOVE THE BALL-PLAYER
Love who feeds on me is a ball-player, and throws to thee, Heliodora,
the heart that throbs in me. Come then, take thou Love-longing for his
playmate; but if thou cast me away from thee, I will not bear such
wanton false play.
Nay by Demo's tresses, nay by Heliodora's sandal, nay by Timarion's
scent-dripping doorway, nay by great-eyed Anticleia's dainty smile,
nay by Dorothea's fresh-blossomed garlands, no longer, Love, does thy
quiver hide its bitter winged arrows, for thy shafts are all fixed in
Arm thyself, Cypris, with thy bow, and go at thy leisure to some other
mark; for I have not even room left for a wound.
MOTH AND CANDLE
If thou scorch so often the soul that flutters round thee, O Love, she
will flee away from thee; she too, O cruel, has wings.
LOVE AT AUCTION
Let him be sold, even while he is yet asleep on his mother's bosom,
let him be sold; why should I have the rearing of this impudent thing?
For it is snub-nosed and winged, and scratches with its nail-tips, and
weeping laughs often between; and furthermore it is unabashed, ever-
talking, sharp-glancing, wild and not gentle even to its very own
mother, every way a monster; so it shall be sold; if any outward-bound
merchant will buy a boy, let him come hither. And yet he beseeches,
see, all in tears. I sell thee no more; be comforted; stay here and
live with Zenophile.
INTER MINORA SIDERA
Pour ten cups for Lysidice, and for beloved Euphrante, slave, give me
one cup. Thou wilt say I love Lysidice more? No, by sweet Bacchus,
whom I drink deep in this bowl; Euphrante for me, one against ten; for
the one splendour of the moon also outshines the innumerable stars.
Pour for Heliodora as Persuasion, and as the Cyprian, and once more
for her again as the sweet-speeched Grace; for she is enrolled as my
one goddess, whose beloved name I will mix and drink in unmixed wine.
LOVE IN ABSENCE
Pour, and again say, again, again, "Heliodora"; say it and mingle the
sweet name with the unmixed wine; and wreath me with that garland of
yesterday drenched with ointments, for remembrance of her. Lo, the
lovers' rose sheds tears to see her away, and not on my bosom.
Who of my friends has imaged me sweet-voiced Zenophile? who has
brought me one Grace of the three? Surely the man did a gracious deed
who gave this gift, and in his grace gave Grace herself to me.
THE SEA'S WOOING
Fond Asclepias with her sparkling eyes as of Calm woos all to make the
voyage of love.
THE LIGHT OF TROY
Athenion sang of that fatal horse to me; all Troy was in fire, and I
kindled along with it, not fearing the ten years' toil of Greece; and
in that single blaze Trojans and I perished together then.
LOVE AND MUSIC
Sweet is the tune, by Pan of Arcady, that thou playest on the harp,
Zenophile, oversweet are the notes of the tune. Whither shall I fly
from thee? on all hands the Loves encompass me, and let me not take
breath for ever so little space; for either thy form shoots longing
into me, or again thy music or thy graciousness, or--what shall I say?
all of thee; I kindle in the fire.
HONEY AND STING
Flower-fed bee, why touchest thou my Heliodora's skin, leaving
outright the flower-bells of spring? Meanest thou that even the
unendurable sting of Love, ever bitter to the heart, has a sweetness
too? Yes, I think, this thou sayest; ah, fond one, go back again; we
knew thy news long ago.
Fly for me, O gnat, a swift messenger, and touch Zenophile, and
whisper lightly into her ears: "one awaits thee waking; and thou
sleepest, O oblivious of thy lovers." Up, fly, yes fly, O musical one;
but speak quietly, lest arousing her bedfellow too thou stir pangs of
jealousy against me; and if thou bring my girl, I will adorn thee with
a lion-skin, O gnat, and give thee a club to carry in thine hand.
LOVE THE SLAYER
I beseech thee, Love, charm asleep the wakeful longing in me for
Heliodora, pitying my suppliant verse; for, by thy bow that never has
learned to strike another, but always upon me pours its winged shafts,
even though thou slay me I will leave letters uttering this voice,
"Look, stranger, on Love's murdered man."
Why so woe-begone? and why, Philaenis, these reckless tearings of
hair, and suffusion of sorrowful eyes? hast thou seen thy lover with
another on his bosom? tell me; we know charms for grief. Thou weepest
and sayest no: vainly dost thou essay to deny; the eyes are more
trustworthy than the tongue.
THE SLEEPLESS LOVER
Grasshopper, beguilement of my longings, luller asleep, grasshopper,
muse of the cornfield, shrill-winged, natural mimic of the lyre, harp
to me some tune of longing, striking thy vocal wings with thy dear
feet, that so thou mayest rescue me from the all-wakeful trouble of my
pains, grasshopper, as thou makest thy love-luring voice tremble on
the string; and I will give thee gifts at dawn, ever-fresh groundsel
and dewy drops sprayed from the mouths of the watering-can.
REST AT NOON
Voiceful cricket, drunken with drops of dew thou playest thy rustic
music that murmurs in the solitude, and perched on the leaf-edges
shrillest thy lyre-tune with serrated legs and swart skin. But my
dear, utter a new song for the tree-nymphs' delight, and make thy
harp-notes echo to Pan's, that escaping Love I may seek out sleep at
noon here lying under the shady plane.
THE BURDEN OF YOUTH
I am not two and twenty yet, and I am weary of living; O Loves, why
misuse me so? why set me on fire; for when I am gone, what will you
do? Doubtless, O Loves, as before you will play with your dice,
Holy night, and thou, O lamp, you and none other we took to witness of
our vows; and we swore, he that he would love me, and I that I would
never leave him, and you kept witness between us. And now he says that
these vows are written in running water, O lamp, and thou seest him on
the bosom of another.
O night, O wakeful longing in me for Heliodora, and eyes that sting
with tears in the creeping grey of dawn, do some remnants of affection
yet remain mine, and is her memorial kiss warm upon my cold picture?
has she tears for bedfellows, and does she clasp to her bosom and kiss
a deluding dream of me? or has she some other new love, a new
plaything? Never, O lamp, look thou on that, but be guardian of her
whom I gave to thy keeping.
THE DEW OF TEARS
Stay there, my garlands, hanging by these doors, nor hastily
scattering your petals, you whom I have wetted with tears (for lovers'
eyes are rainy); but when you see him as the door opens, drip my rain
over his head, that so at least that golden hair may drink my tears.
When I am gone, Cleobulus--for what avails? cast among the fire of
young loves, I lie a brand in the ashes--I pray thee make the burial-
urn drunk with wine ere thou lay it under earth, and write thereon,
"Love's gift to Death."
Terrible is Love, terrible; and what avails it if again I say and
again, with many a moan, Terrible is Love? for surely the boy laughs
at this, and is pleased with manifold reproaches; and if I say bitter
things, they are meat and drink to him. And I wonder how thou, O
Cyprian, who didst arise through the green waves, out of water hast
borne a fire.
LOVE THE CONQUEROR
I am down: tread with thy foot on my neck, cruel divinity; I know
thee, by the gods, heavy as thou art to bear: I know too thy fiery
arrows: but hurling thy brands at my soul thou wilt no longer kindle
it, for it is all ashes.
Did I not cry aloud to thee, O soul, "Yes, by the Cyprian, thou wilt
be caught, poor lover, if thou flutterest so often near the lime-
twigs"? did I not cry aloud? and the snare has taken thee. Why dost
thou gasp vainly in the toils? Love himself has bound thy wings and
set thee on the fire, and sprinkled thee to swooning with perfumes,
and given thee in thy thirst hot tears to drink.
FROST AND FIRE
Ah suffering soul, now thou burnest in the fire, and now thou
revivest, and fetchest breath again: why weepest thou? when thou didst
feed pitiless Love in thy bosom, knewest thou not that he was being
fed for thy woe? knewest thou not? Know now his repayment, a fair
foster-hire! take it, fire and cold snow together. Thou wouldst have
it so; bear the pain; thou sufferest the wages of thy work, scorched
with his burning honey.
THE SCULPTOR OF SOULS
Within my heart Love himself has moulded Heliodora with her lovely
voice, the soul of my soul.
Who may know if a loved one passes the prime, while ever with him and
never left alone? who may not satisfy to-day who satisfied yesterday?
and if he did satisfy, what should befall him not to satisfy
PRAYERS AND DEDICATIONS
TO ZEUS OF SCHERIA
Though the terror of those who pray, and the thanks of those who have
prayed, ever fill thine ears with myriad voice, O Zeus, who abidest in
the holy plain of Scheria, yet hearken to us also, and bow down with a
promise that lies not, that my exile now may have an end, and I may
live in my native land at rest from labour of long journeys.
TO THE GOD OF THE SEA
Holy Spirit of the great Shaker of Earth, be thou gracious to others
also who ply across the Aegean brine; since even to me, chased by the
Thracian hurricane, thou didst open out the calm haven of my desire.
TO THE GODS OF HARBOUR AND HEADLAND
Harbour-god, do thou, O blessed one, send with a gentle breeze the
outward-bound sail of Archelaus down smooth water even to the sea; and
thou who hast the point of the shore in ward, keep the convoy that is
bound for the Pythian shrine; and thenceforward, if all we singers are
in Phoebus' care, I will sail cheerily on with a fair-flowing west
TO POSEIDON OF AEGAE
Thou who holdest sovereignty of swift-sailing ships, steed-loving god,
and the great overhanging cliff of Euboea, give to thy worshippers a
favourable voyage even to the City of Ares, who loosed moorings from
TO THE LORD OF SEA AND LAND
This ship to thee, O king of sea and sovereign of land, I Crantas
dedicate, this ship wet no longer, a feather tossed by the wandering
winds, whereon many a time I deemed in my terror that I drove to
death; now renouncing all, fear and hope, sea and storms, I have
planted my foot securely upon earth.
TO THE GODS OF SEA AND WEATHER
O Melicerta son of Ino, and thou, sea-green Leucothea, mistress of
Ocean, deity that shieldest from harm, and choirs of the Nere´ds, and
waves, and thou Poseidon, and Thracian Zephyrus, gentlest of the
winds, carry me propitiously, sped through the broad wave, safe to the
sweet shore of the Peiraeus.
TO POSEIDON, BY A FISHERMAN
Old Amyntichus tied his plummeted fishing-net round his fish-spear,
ceasing from his sea-toil, and spake towards Poseidon and the salt
surge of the sea, letting a tear fall from his eyelids; Thou knowest,
blessed one, I am weary; and in an evil old age clinging Poverty keeps
her youth and wastes my limbs: give sustenance to a poor old man while
he yet draws breath, but from the land as he desires, O ruler of both
earth and sea.
TO PALAEMON AND INO
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
This shattered fragment of a sea-wandering scolopendra, lying on the
sandy shore, twice four fathom long, all befouled with froth, much
torn under the sea-washed rock, Hermonax chanced upon when he was
hauling a draught of fishes out of the sea as he plied his fisher's
craft; and having found it, he hung it up to the boy Palaemon and Ino,
giving the sea-marvel to the sea-deities.
TO ARTEMIS OF THE FISHING-NETS
A red mullet and a hake from the embers to thee, Artemis of the Haven,
I Menis, the caster of nets, offer, and a brimming cup of wine mixed
strong, and a broken crust of dry bread, a poor man's sacrifice; in
recompence whereof give thou nets ever filled with prey; to thee, O
blessed one, all meshes have been given.
TO PRIAPUS OF THE SHORE
Priapus of the seashore, the trawlers lay before thee these gifts by
the grace of thine aid from the promontory, having imprisoned a tunny
shoal in their nets of spun hemp in the green sea-entrances: a beechen
cup and a rude stool of heath and a glass cup holding wine, that thou
mayest rest thy foot weary and cramped with dancing while thou chasest
away the dry thirst.
TO APOLLO OF LEUCAS
Phoebus who holdest the sheer steep of Leucas, far seen of mariners
and washed by the Ionian sea, receive of sailors this mess of hand-
kneaded barley bread and a libation mingled in a little cup, and the
gleam of a brief-shining lamp that drinks with half-saturate mouth
from a sparing oil-flask; in recompence whereof be gracious, and send
on their sails a favourable wind to run with them to the harbours of
TO ARTEMIS OF THE WAYS
Thou of the Ways, to thee Antiphilus dedicates this hat from his own
head, a voucher of his wayfaring; for thou wast gracious to his
prayers, wast favouring to his paths; and his thank-offering is small
indeed but sacred. Let not any greedy traveller's hand snatch our
gift; sacrilege is not safe even in little things.
TO THE TWIN BRETHREN
He who set me here, Euaenetus, says (for of myself I know not) that I
am dedicated in recompence of his single-handed victory, I the cock of
brass, to the Twin Brethren; I believe the son of Phaedrus the
TO THE DELPHIAN APOLLO
Eunomus the Locrian hangs up this brazen grasshopper to the Lycorean
god, a memorial of the contest for the crown. The strife was of the
Lyre, and Parthis stood up against me: but when the Locrian shell
sounded under the plectrum, a lyre-string rang and snapped jarringly;
but ere ever the tune halted in its fair harmonies, a delicate-
trilling grasshopper seated itself on the lyre and took up the note of
the lost string, and turned the rustic sound that till then was vocal
in the groves to the strain of our touch upon the lyre; and therefore,
blessed son of Leto, he does honour to thy grasshopper, seating the
singer in brass upon his harp.
TO ARTEMIS THE HEALER
Huntress and archer, maiden daughter of Zeus and Leto, Artemis to whom
are given the recesses of the mountains, this very day send away
beyond the North Wind this hateful sickness from the best of kings;
for so above thine altars will Philippus offer vapour of frankincense,
doing goodly sacrifice of a hill-pasturing boar.
Even to Miletus came the son of the Healer to succour the physician of
diseases Nicias, who ever day by day draws near him with offerings,
and had this image carved of fragrant cedar, promising high recompence
to Eetion for his cunning of hand; and he put all his art into the
TO THE NYMPHS OF ANIGRUS
Nymphs of Anigrus, maidens of the river, who evermore tread with rosy
feet these divine depths, hail and save Cleonymus who set these fair
images to you, goddesses, beneath the pines.
TO PAN PAEAN
This for thee, O pipe-player, minstrel, gracious god, holy lord of the
Naiads who pour their urns, Hyginus made as a gift, whom thou, O king,
didst draw nigh and make whole of his hard sickness; for among all my
children thou didst stand by me visibly, not in a dream of night, but
about the mid-circle of the day.
TO HERACLES OF OETA
Heracles who goest on stony Trachis and on Oeta and the deep brow of
tree-clad Pholoe, to thee Dionysius offers this green staff of wild
olive, cut off by him with his billhook.
TO APOLLO AND THE MUSES
These dewy roses and yonder close-curled wild thyme are laid before
the maidens of Helicon, and the dark-leaved laurels before thee,
Pythian Healer, since the Delphic rock made this thine ornament; and
this white-horned he-goat shall stain your altar, who nibbles the tip
of the terebinth shoot.
TO APHRODITE OF THE GOLDEN HOUSE
Thou liest in the golden portico of Aphrodite, O grape-cluster filled
full of Dionysus' juice, nor ever more shall thy mother twine round
thee her lovely tendril or above thine head put forth her honeyed
TO APHRODITE, BY CALLISTION
Thou who inhabitest Cyprus and Cythera and Miletus and the fair plain
of horse-trampled Syria, come graciously to Callistion, who never
thrust her lover away from her house's doors.
TO APHRODITE, BY LA¤S
I La´s who laughed exultant over Greece, I who held that swarm of
young lovers in my porches, give my mirror to the Paphian; since such
as I am I will not see myself, and such as I was I cannot.
TO APHRODITE, WITH A TALISMAN
Nico's wryneck, that knows how to draw a man even from overseas, and
girls out of their wedding-chambers, chased with gold, carven out of
translucent amethyst, lies before thee, Cyprian, for thine own
possession, tied across the middle with a soft lock of purple lamb's
wool, the gift of the sorceress of Larissa.
TO APHRODITE EUPLOIA
Guardian of the seabeach, to thee I send these cakes, and the gifts of
a scanty sacrifice; for to-morrow I shall cross the broad wave of the
Ionian sea, hastening to our Eidothea's arms. But shine thou
favourably on my love as on my mast, O Cyprian, mistress of the bride-
chamber and the beach.
TO THE GOD OF CANOPUS
To the god of Canopus Callistion, wife of Critias, dedicated me, a
lamp enriched with twenty wicks, when her prayer for her child Apellis
was heard; and regarding my splendours thou wilt say, How art thou
fallen, O Evening Star!
TO HERACLES, WITH A SHIELD
Receive me, O Heracles, the consecrated shield of Archestratus, that
leaning against thy polished portico, I may grow old in hearing of
dances and hymns; let the War-God's hateful strife be satisfied.
TO THE MILESIAN ARTEMIS
So I was destined, I also, once to abandon the hateful strife of Ares
and hear the maiden choirs around Artemis' temple, where Epixenus
placed me when white old age began to waste his limbs.
TO ATHENE ERGANE
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
The shuttle that sang at morning with the earliest swallows' cry,
kingfisher of Pallas in the loom, and the heavy-headed twirling
spindle, light-running spinner of the twisted yarn, and the bobbins,
and this basket, friend to the distaff, keeper of the spun warp-thread
and the reel, Telesilla, the industrious daughter of good Diocles,
dedicates to the Maiden, mistress of wool-dressers.
TO THE ORCHARD GOD
This fresh-cloven pomegranate and fresh-downed quince, and the
wrinkled navel-like fig, and the purple grape-bunch spirting wine,
thick-clustered, and the nut fresh-stripped of its green husk, to this
rustic staked Priapus the keeper of the fruit dedicates, an offering
from his orchard trees.
TO DEMETER AND THE SEASONS
To Demeter of the winnowing-fan and the Seasons whose feet are in the
furrows Heronax lays here from the poverty of a small tilth their
share of ears from the threshing-floor, and these mixed seeds of pulse
on a slabbed table, the least of a little; for no great inheritance is
this he has gotten him, here on the barren hill.
TO THE CORN GODDESS
Those handfuls of corn from the furrows of a tiny field, Demeter lover
of wheat, Sosicles the tiller dedicates to thee, having reaped now an
abundant harvest; but again likewise may he carry back his sickle
blunted from shearing of the straw.
TO THE GODS OF THE FARM
To Pan of the goats and fruitful Dionysus and Demeter Lady of Earth I
dedicate a common offering, and beseech of them fair fleeces and fair
wine and fair fruit of the corn-ears in my reaping.
TO THE WEST WIND
Eudemus dedicates this shrine in the fields to Zephyrus, most
bountiful of the winds, who came to aid him at his prayer, that he
might right quickly winnow the grain from the ripe ears.
TO PAN OF THE FOUNTAIN
We supplicate Pan, the goer on the cliffs, twy-horned leader of the
Nymphs, who abides in this house of rock, to be gracious to us,
whosoever come to this spring of ever-flowing drink to rid us of our
TO PAN AND THE NYMPHS
To Pan the bristly-haired, and the Nymphs of the farm-yard, Theodotus
the shepherd laid this gift under the crag, because they stayed him
when very weary under the parching summer, stretching out to him
honey-sweet water in their hands.
TO THE SHEPHERD-GOD
White-skinned Daphnis, the player of pastoral hymns on his fair pipe,
offers these to Pan, the pierced reeds, the stick for throwing at
hares, a sharp javelin and a fawn-skin, and the scrip wherein once he
TO PAN, BY A HUNTER, A FOWLER, AND A FISHER
To thee, Pan of the cliff, three brethren dedicate these various gifts
of their threefold ensnaring; Damis toils for wild beasts, and Pigres
springes for birds, and Cleitor nets that swim in the sea; whereof do
thou yet again make the one fortunate in the air, and the one in the
sea and the one among the oakwoods.
TO ARTEMIS OF THE OAKWOOD
This to thee, Artemis the bright, this statue Cleonymus set up; do
thou overshadow this oakwood rich in game, where thou goest afoot, our
lady, over the mountain tossing with foliage as thou hastest with thy
terrible and eager hounds.
TO THE GODS OF THE CHASE
Fountained caverns of the Nymphs that drip so much water down this
jagged headland, and echoing hut of pine-coronalled Pan, wherein he
dwells under the feet of the rock of Bassae, and stumps of aged
juniper sacred among hunters, and stone-heaped seat of Hermes, be
gracious and receive the spoils of the swift stag-chase from Sosander
prosperous in hunting.
TO ARCADIAN ARTEMIS
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
This deer that fed about Ladon and the Erymanthian water and the
ridges of Pholoe haunted by wild beasts, Lycormas son of Thearidas of
Lasion got, striking her with the diamond-shaped butt of his spear,
and, drawing off the skin and the double-pointed antlers on her
forehead, laid them before the Maiden of the country.
TO APOLLO, WITH A HUNTER'S BOW
Androclus, O Apollo, gives this bow to thee, wherewith in the chase
striking many a beast he had luck in his aim: since never did the
arrow leap wandering from the curved horn or speed vainly from his
hand; for as often as the inevitable bowstring rang, so often he
brought down his prey in air or thicket; wherefore to thee, O Phoebus,
he brings this Lyctian weapon as an offering, having wound it round
with rings of gold.
TO PAN OF THE SHEPHERDS
O Pan, utter thy holy voice to the feeding flocks, running thy curved
lip over the golden reeds, that so they may often bring gifts of white
milk in heavy udders to Clymenus' home, and for thee the lord of the
she-goats, standing fairly by thy altars, may spirt the red blood from
his shaggy breast.
TO THE GOD OF ARCADY
These unsown domains, O Pan of the hill, Stratonicus the ploughman
dedicated to thee in return of thy good deeds, saying, Feed in joy
thine own flocks and look on thine own land, never more to be shorn
with brass; thou wilt find the resting-place a gracious one; for even
here charmed Echo will fulfil her marriage with thee.
OF THE ATHENIAN DEAD AT PLATAEA
If to die nobly is the chief part of excellence, to us out of all men
Fortune gave this lot; for hastening to set a crown of freedom on
Greece we lie possessed of praise that grows not old.
ON THE LACEDAEMONIAN DEAD AT PLATAEA
These men having set a crown of imperishable glory on their own land
were folded in the dark cloud of death; yet being dead they have not
died, since from on high their excellence raises them gloriously out
of the house of Hades.
ON THE SPARTANS AT THERMOPYLAE
Him, who over changed paths of earth and sea sailed on the mainland
and went afoot upon the deep, Spartan valour held back on three
hundred spears; be ashamed, O mountains and seas.
ON THE SAME
O passer by, tell the Lacedaemonians that we lie here obeying their
ON THE DEAD IN AN UNKNOWN BATTLE
These men, in saving their native land that lay with tearful fetters
on her neck, clad themselves in the dust of darkness; and they win
great praise of excellence; but looking on them let a citizen dare to
die for his country.
ON THE DEAD IN A BATTLE IN BOEOTIA
O Time, all-surveying deity of the manifold things wrought among
mortals, carry to all men the message of our fate, that striving to
save the holy soil of Greece we die on the renowned Boeotian plains.
ON A SLAIN WARRIOR
Valiant in war was Timocritus, whose monument this is; but Ares spares
the bad, not the good.
ON THE SLAIN IN A BATTLE IN THESSALY
These men also, the steadfast among spears, dark Fate destroyed as
they defended their native land rich in sheep; but they being dead
their glory is alive, who woefully clad their limbs in the dust of
ON THE ATHENIAN DEAD AT THE BATTLE OF CHALCIS
We fell under the fold of Dirphys, and a memorial is reared over us by
our country near the Euripus, not unjustly; for we lost lovely youth
facing the rough cloud of war.
ON THE ERETRIAN EXILES IN PERSIA
We who of old left the booming surge of the Aegean lie here in the
mid-plain of Ecbatana: fare thou well, renowned Eretria once our
country, farewell Athens nigh to Euboea, farewell dear sea.
ON THE SAME
We are Eretrians of Euboea by blood, but we lie near Susa, alas! how
far from our own land.
Aeschylus son of Euphorion the Athenian this monument hides, who died
in wheat-bearing Gela; but of his approved valour the Marathonian
grove may tell, and the deep-haired Mede who knew it.
ON AN EMPTY TOMB IN TRACHIS
Not rocky Trachis covers over thy white bones, nor this stone with her
dark-blue lettering; but them the Icarian wave dashes about the
shingle of Doliche and steep Dracanon; and I, this empty earth, for
old friendship with Polymedes, am heaped among the thirsty herbage of
ON THE GRAVE OF AN ATHENIAN AT MERO╦
Straight is the descent to Hades, whether thou wert to go from Athens
or takest thy journey from MeroŰ; let it not vex thee to have died so
far away from home; from all lands the wind that blows to Hades is but
ON THE GRAVE OF AN ATHENIAN WOMAN AT CYZICUS
I am an Athenian woman; for that was my city; but from Athens the
wasting war-god of the Italians plundered me long ago and made a Roman
citizen; and now that I am dead, seagirt Cyzicus wraps my bones. Fare
thou well, O land that nurturedst me, and thou that thereafter didst
hold me, and thou that at last hast taken me to thy breast.
ON A SHIPWRECKED SAILOR
I am the tomb of one shipwrecked; and that opposite me, of a
husbandman; for a common Hades lies beneath sea and earth.
ON THE SAME
Well be with you, O mariners, both at sea and on land; but know that
you pass by the grave of a shipwrecked man.
ON THE SAME
I am the tomb of one shipwrecked; but sail thou; for when we were
perishing, the other ships sailed on over the sea.
ON THE SAME
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
May the seafarer have a prosperous voyage; but if, like me, the gale
drive him into the harbour of Hades, let him blame not the
inhospitable sea-gulf, but his own foolhardiness that loosed moorings
from our tomb.
ON THE SAME
Mariner, ask not whose tomb I am here, but be thine own fortune a
ON THE SAME
What stranger, O shipwrecked man? Leontichus found me here a corpse on
the shore, and heaped this tomb over me, with tears for his own
calamitous life: for neither is he at peace, but flits like a gull
over the sea.
ON THE EMPTY TOMB OF ONE LOST AT SEA
Not dust nor the light weight of a stone, but all this sea that thou
beholdest is the tomb of Erasippus; for he perished with his ship, and
in some unknown place his bones moulder, and the sea-gulls alone know
them to tell.
ON THE SAME
Cloudcapt Geraneia, cruel steep, would thou hadst looked on far Ister
and long Scythian Tana´s, and not lain nigh the surge of the Scironian
sea by the ravines of the snowy Meluriad rock: but now he is a chill
corpse in ocean, and the empty tomb here cries aloud of his heavy
ON THE SAME
Thymodes also, weeping over unlooked-for woes, reared this empty tomb
to Lycus his son; for not even in a strange land did he get a grave,
but some Thynian beach or Pontic island holds him, where, forlorn of
all funeral rites, his shining bones lie naked on an inhospitable
ON A SAILOR DROWNED IN HARBOUR
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
Everywhere the sea is the sea; why idly blame we the Cyclades or the
narrow wave of Helle and the Needles? in vain have they their fame; or
why when I had escaped them did the harbour of Scarphe cover me? Pray
whoso will for a fair passage home; that the sea's way is the sea,
Aristagoras knows who is buried here.
ON ARISTON OF CYRENE, LOST AT SEA
O sailing mariners, Ariston of Cyrene prays you all for the sake of
Zeus the Protector, to tell his father Meno that he lies by the
Icarian rocks, having given up the ghost in the Aegean sea.
ON BITON OF AMPHIPOLIS, LOST AT SEA
I am the grave of Biton, O wayfarer; and if leaving Torone thou goest
even to Amphipolis, tell Nicagoras that Strymonias at the setting of
the Kids lost him his only son.
ON POLYANTHUS OF TORONE, LOST AT SEA
I bewail Polyanthus, O thou who passest by, whom Aristagore his wife
laid newly-wedded in the grave, having received dust and bones (but
him the ill-blown Aegean wave cast away off Sciathus), when at early
dawn the fishermen drew his luckless corpse, O stranger, into the
harbour of Torone.
ON A WAYSIDE TOMB
Sit beneath the poplars here, traveller, when thou art weary, and
drawing nigh drink of our spring; and even far away remember the
fountain that Simus sets by the side of Gillus his dead child.
ON THE CHILDREN OF NICANDER AND LYSIDICE
This is the single tomb of Nicander's children; the light of a single
morning ended the sacred offspring of Lysidice.
ON A BABY
Me a baby that was just tasting life heaven snatched away, I know not
whether for good or for evil; insatiable Death, why hast thou snatched
me cruelly in infancy? why hurriest thou? Are we not all thine in the
ON A CHILD OF FIVE
Me Callimachus, a five-years-old child whose spirit knew not grief,
pitiless Death snatched away; but weep thou not for me; for little was
my share in life, and little in life's ills.
ON A CHILD OF SEVEN
Hermes messenger of Persephone, whom usherest thou thus to the
laughterless abyss of Death? what hard fate snatched Ariston from the
fresh air at seven years old? and the child stands between his
parents. Pluto delighting in tears, are not all mortal spirits
allotted to thee? why gatherest thou the unripe grapes of youth?
ON A BOY OF TWELVE
Philip the father laid here the twelve-years-old child, his high hope,
Looking on the monument of a dead boy, Cleoetes son of Menesaechmus,
pity him who was beautiful and died.
ON A BEAUTIFUL BOY
Not death is bitter, since that is the fate of all, but to die ere the
time and before our parents: I having seen not marriage nor wedding-
chant nor bridal bed, lie here the love of many, and to be the love of
ON A BOY OF NINETEEN
Bidding hail to me, Diogenes beneath the earth, go about thy business
and obtain thy desire; for at nineteen years old I was laid low by
cruel sickness and leave the sweet sun.
ON A SON, BY HIS MOTHER
What profits it to labour in childbirth? what to bear children? let
not her bear who must see her child's death: for to stripling Bianor
his mother reared the tomb; but it was fitting that the mother should
obtain this service of the son.
ON A GIRL
The daughters of the Samians often require Crethis the teller of
tales, who knew pretty games, sweetest of workfellows, ever talking;
but she sleeps here the sleep to which they all must come.
ON A BETROTHED GIRL
I am of Baucis the bride; and passing by my oft-wept pillar thou
mayest say this to Death that dwells under ground, "Thou art envious,
O Death"; and the coloured monument tells to him who sees it the most
bitter fortune of Bauco, how her father-in-law burned the girl on the
funeral pyre with those torches by whose light the marriage train was
to be led home; and thou, O Hymenaeus, didst change the tuneable
bridal song into a voice of wailing dirges.
ON THE SAME
ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA
Ausonian earth holds me a woman of Libya, and I lie a maiden here by
the sea-sand near Rome; and Pompeia, who nurtured me like a daughter,
wept over me and laid me in a free tomb, while hastening on that other
torch-fire for me; but this one came first, and contrary to our
prayers Persephone lit the lamp.
ON A SINGING-GIRL
Blue-eyed Musa, the sweet-voiced nightingale, suddenly this little
grave holds voiceless, and she lies like a stone who was so
accomplished and so famous; fair Musa, be this dust light over thee.
ON CLAUDIA HOMONOEA
I Homonoea, who was far clearer-voiced than the Sirens, I who was more
golden than the Cyprian herself at revellings and feasts, I the
chattering bright swallow lie here, leaving tears to Atimetus, to whom
I was dear from girlhood; but unforeseen fate scattered all that great
ON PAULA OF TARENTUM
DIODORUS OF SARDIS
Bear witness this my stone house of night that has hidden me, and the
wail-circled water of Cocytus, my husband did not, as men say, kill
me, looking eagerly to marriage with another; why should Rufinius have
an ill name idly? but my predestined Fates lead me away; not surely is
Paula of Tarentum the only one who has died before her day.
ON A MOTHER, DEAD IN CHILDBIRTH
DIODORUS OF SARDIS
These woeful letters of Diodorus' wisdom tell that I was engraven for
one early dead in child-birth, since she perished in bearing a boy;
and I weep to hold Athena´s the comely daughter of Melo, who left
grief to the women of Lesbos and her father Jason; but thou, O
Artemis, wert busy with thy beast-slaying hounds.
ON A MOTHER OF EIGHTEEN, AND HER BABY
Name me Polyxena wife of Archelaus, child of Theodectes and hapless
Demarete, and a mother as far as the birth-pangs; but fate overtook
the child before full twenty suns, and myself died at eighteen years,
just a mother and just a bride, so brief was all my day.
ON A YOUNG WIFE
To his wife Paulina, holy of life and blameless, who died at nineteen
years, Andronicus the physician paying memorial placed this witness
the last of all.
ON ATTHIS OF CNIDOS
Atthis who didst live for me and breathe thy last toward me, source of
joyfulness formerly as now of tears, holy, much lamented, how sleepest
thou the mournful sleep, thou whose head was never laid away from thy
husband's breast, leaving Theius alone as one who is no more; for with
thee the hopes of our life went to darkness.
ON PREXO, WIFE OF THEOCRITUS OF SAMOS
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
Who and of whom art thou, O woman, that liest under the Parian column?
Prexo, daughter of Calliteles. And of what country? Of Samos. And also
who buried thee? Theocritus, to whom my parents gave me in marriage.
And of what diedst thou? Of child-birth. How old? Two-and-twenty. And
childless? Nay, but I left a three-year-old Calliteles. May he live at
least and come to great old age. And to thee, O stranger, may Fortune
give all prosperity.
ON AMAZONIA OF THESSALONICA
Why idly bemoaning linger you by my tomb? nothing worthy of
lamentation is mine among the dead. Cease from plaints and be at rest,
O husband, and you my children fare well, and keep the memory of
ON A LACEDAEMONIAN NURSE
Here earth holds the Peloponnesian woman who was the most faithful
nurse of the children of Diogeitus.
ON A LYDIAN SLAVE
A Lydian am I, yes a Lydian, but in a free tomb, O my master, thou
didst lay thy fosterer Timanthes; prosperously mayest thou lengthen
out an unharmed life, and if under the hand of old age thou shalt come
to me, I am thine, O master, even in the grave.
ON A PERSIAN SLAVE
Even now beneath the earth I abide faithful to thee, yes my master, as
before, forgetting not thy kindness, in that then thou broughtest me
thrice out of sickness to safe foothold, and now didst lay me here
beneath sufficient shelter, calling me by name, Manes the Persian; and
for thy good deeds to me thou shalt have servants readier at need.
ON A FAVOURITE DOG
Thou who passest on the path, if haply thou dost mark this monument,
laugh not, I pray thee, though it is a dog's grave; tears fell for me,
and the dust was heaped above me by a master's hands, who likewise
engraved these words on my tomb.
ON A MALTESE WATCH-DOG
Here the stone says it holds the white dog from Melita, the most
faithful guardian of Eumelus; Bull they called him while he was yet
alive; but now his voice is prisoned in the silent pathways of night.
ON A TAME PARTRIDGE
No longer, poor partridge migrated from the rocks, does thy woven
house hold thee in its thin withies, nor under the sparkle of fresh-
faced Dawn dost thou ruffle up the edges of thy basking wings; the cat
bit off thy head, but the rest of thee I snatched away, and she did
not fill her greedy jaw; and now may the earth cover thee not lightly
but heavily, lest she drag out thy remains.
ON A THESSALIAN HOUND
Surely even as thou liest dead in this tomb I deem the wild beasts yet
fear thy white bones, huntress Lycas; and thy valour great Pelion
knows, and splendid Ossa and the lonely peaks of Cithaeron.
ON CHARIDAS OF CYRENE
Does Charidas in truth sleep beneath thee? If thou meanest the son of
Arimmas of Cyrene, beneath me. O Charidas, what of the under world?
Great darkness. And what of the resurrection? A lie. And Pluto? A
fable; we perish utterly. This my tale to you is true; but if thou
wilt have the pleasant one of the Samian, I am a large ox in Hades.
ON THEOGNIS OF SINOPE
I am the monument of Theognis of Sinope, over whom Glaucus set me in
guerdon of their long fellowship.
ON A DEAD FRIEND
This little stone, good Sabinus, is the record of our great
friendship; ever will I require thee; and thou, if it is permitted,
drink not among the dead of the water of Lethe for me.
ON AN UNHAPPY MAN
I Dionysius of Tarsus lie here at sixty, having never married; and
would that my father had not.
ON A CRETAN MERCHANT
I Brotachus of Gortyna, a Cretan, lie here, not having come hither for
this, but for traffic.
ON SAON OF ACANTHUS
Here Saon, son of Dicon of Acanthus, rests in a holy sleep; say not
that the good die.
LITERATURE AND ART
THE GROVE OF THE MUSES
Say thou that this grave is consecrate to the Muses, pointing to the
books by the plane-trees, and that we guard it; and if a true lover of
ours come hither, we crown him with our ivy.
THE VOICE OF THE WORLD
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
The herald of the prowess of heroes and the interpreter of the
immortals, a second sun on the life of Greece, Homer, the light of the
Muses, the ageless mouth of all the world, lies hid, O stranger, under
the sea-washed sand.
THE TALE OF TROY
Still we hear the wail of Andromache, still we see all Troy toppling
from her foundations, and the battling of Ajax, and Hector, bound to
the horses, dragged under the city's crown of towers, through the Muse
of Maeonides, the poet with whom no one country adorns herself as her
own, but the zones of both worlds.
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
No longer, Orpheus, wilt thou lead the charmed oaks, no longer the
rocks nor the lordless herds of the wild beasts; no longer wilt thou
lull the roaring of the winds, nor hail and sweep of snowstorms nor
dashing sea; for thou perishedst; and the daughters of Mnemosyne wept
sore for thee, and thy mother Calliope above all. Why do we mourn over
dead sons, when not even gods avail to ward off Hades from their
Doricha, long ago thy bones are dust, and the ribbon of thy hair and
the raiment scented with unguents, wherein once wrapping lovely
Charaxus round thou didst cling to him carousing into dawn; but the
white leaves of the dear ode of Sappho remain yet and shall remain
speaking thy blessed name, which Naucratis shall keep here so long as
a sea-going ship shall come to the lagoons of Nile.
Thee, as thou wert just giving birth to a springtide of honeyed songs
and just finding thy swan-voice, Fate, mistress of the threaded
spindle, drove to Acheron across the wide water of the dead; but the
fair labour of thy verses, Erinna, cries that thou art not perished,
but keepest mingled choir with the Maidens of Pieria.
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
The young maiden singer Erinna, the bee among poets, who sipped the
flowers of the Muses, Hades snatched away to be his bride; truly
indeed said the girl in her wisdom, "Thou art envious, O Death."
ANACREON'S GRAVE (1)
O stranger who passest this the tomb of Anacreon, pour libation over
me in going by; for I am a drinker of wine.
ANACREON'S GRAVE (2)
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
O stranger who passest by the humble tomb of Anacreon, if thou hast
had aught of good from my books pour libation on my ashes, pour
libation of the jocund grape, that my bones may rejoice wetted with
wine; so I, who was ever deep in the wine-steeped revels of Dionysus,
I who was bred among drinking tunes, shall not even when dead endure
without Bacchus this place to which the generation of mortals must
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
As high as the trumpet's blast outsounds the thin flute, so high above
all others did thy lyre ring; nor idly did the tawny swarm mould their
waxen-celled honey, O Pindar, about thy tender lips: witness the
horned god of Maenalus when he sang thy hymn and forgot his own
I am Thespis who first shaped the strain of tragedy, making new
partition of fresh graces among the masquers when Bacchus would lead
home the wine-stained chorus, for whom a goat and a basket of Attic
figs was as yet the prize in contests. A younger race reshape all
this; and infinite time will make many more inventions yet; but mine
Gently over the tomb of Sophocles, gently creep, O ivy, flinging forth
thy pale tresses, and all about let the rose-petal blow, and the
clustered vine shed her soft tendrils round, for the sake of the wise-
hearted eloquence mingled of the Muses and Graces that lived on his
The Graces, seeking to take a sanctuary that will not fall, found the
soul of Aristophanes.
With a ringing laugh, and a friendly word over me do thou pass by; I
am Rhintho of Syracuse, a small nightingale of the Muses; but from our
tragical mirth we plucked an ivy of our own.
Tread softly, O stranger; for here an old man sleeps among the holy
dead, lulled in the slumber due to all, Meleager son of Eucrates, who
united Love of the sweet tears and the Muses with the joyous Graces;
whom God-begotten Tyre brought to manhood, and the sacred land of
Gadara, but lovely Cos nursed in old age among the Meropes. But if
thou art a Syrian, say /Salam/, and if a Phoenician, /Naidios/, and if
a Greek, Hail; they are the same.
Island Tyre was my nurse; and the Attic land that lies in Syrian
Gadara is the country of my birth; and I sprang of Eucrates, I
Meleager, the companion of the Muses, first of all who have run side
by side with the Graces of Menippus. And if I am a Syrian, what
wonder? We all dwell in one country, O stranger, the world; one Chaos
brought all mortals to birth. And when stricken in years, I inscribed
this on my tablets before burial, since old age is death's near
neighbour; but do thou, bidding hail to me, the aged talker, thyself
reach a talking old age.
PYLADES THE HARP-PLAYER
ALCAEUS OF MESSENE
All Greece bewails thee departed, Pylades, and cuts short her undone
hair; even Phoebus himself laid aside the laurels from his unshorn
tresses, honouring his own minstrel as was meet, and the Muses wept,
and Asopus stayed his stream, hearing the cry from their wailing lips;
and Dionysus' halls ceased from dancing when thou didst pass down the
iron path of Death.
THE DEATH OF MUSIC
When Orpheus was gone, a Muse was yet haply left, but when thou didst
perish, Plato, the harp likewise ceased; for till then there yet lived
some little fragment of the old melodies, saved in thy soul and hands.
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