Perdix

partridge

Οὐκέτι που, τλῆμον, σκοπέλων μετανάστρια πέρδιξ,
πλεκτὸς λεπταλέαις οἶκος ἔχει σε λύγοις,
οὐδ’ ὑπὸ μαρμαρυγῇ θαλερώπιδος Ἠριγενείης
ἄκρα παραιθύσσεις θαλπομένων πτερύγων.
σὴν κεφαλὴν αἴλουρος ἀπέθρισε, τἄλλα δὲ πάντα
ἥρπασα, καὶ φθονερὴν οὐκ ἐκόρεσσε γένυν.
νῦν δέ σε μὴ κούφη κρύπτοι κόνις, ἀλλὰ βαρεῖα,
μὴ τὸ τεὸν κείνη λείψανον ἐξερύσῃ.
(Agathias Scholasticus, Anth. Gr. 7.204)

Poor partridge, fugitive from the cliffs! No longer, I suppose, does your woven home hold you in its slender withes, nor do you flutter your wing-tips under the gleam of warm-eyed Dawn the early-riser to keep them warm. A cat cut off your head—but I snatched away all the rest; it did not glut its greedy jaws. Now may the dust not hide you lightly, but heavily, lest she drag off what’s left of you. (tr. Michael A. Tueller)

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