Τοὺς κυκλίους τούτους, τοὺς “αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα” λέγοντας,
μισῶ, λωποδύτας ἀλλοτρίων ἐπέων.
καὶ διὰ τοῦτ’ ἐλέγοις προσέχω πλέον· οὐδὲν ἔχω γὰρ
Παρθενίου κλέπτειν ἢ πάλι Καλλιμάχου.
“θηρὶ μὲν οὐατόεντι” γενοίμην, εἴ ποτε γράψω,
εἴκελος, “ἐκ ποταμῶν χλωρὰ χελιδόνια.”
οἱ δ’ οὕτως τὸν Ὅμηρον ἀναιδῶς λωποδυτοῦσιν,
ὥστε γράφειν ἤδη “μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά.”
(Pollianus, Anth. Gr. 11.130)

I hate these cyclic poets* who say “natheless eftsoon,” filchers of the verses of others, and so I pay more attention to elegies, for there is nothing I want to steal from Callimachus or Parthenius. Let me become like an “eared beast”** if ever I write “from the rivers sallow celandine.”*** But these epic poets strip Homer so shamelessly that they already write “Sing, O Goddess, the wrath.”****

* Contemporary writers of epic poems.
** So Callimachus calls a donkey.
*** Probably a quotation from Parthenius. He like Callimachus, wrote elegies.
**** i.e. the very first words of his poem.

(tr. William Roger Paton, with his notes)

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