Mues

web_0009_find-and-order-jax-mice

Ὦ μύες, εἰ μὲν ἐπ’ ἄρτον ἐληλύθατ’, ἐς μυχὸν ἄλλον
στείχετ’ (ἐπεὶ λιτὴν οἰκέομεν καλύβην),
οὗ καὶ πίονα τυρὸν ἀποδρέψεσθε καὶ αὔην
ἰσχάδα καὶ δεῖπνον συχνὸν ἀπὸ σκυβάλων·
εἰ δ’ ἐν ἐμαῖς βύβλοισι πάλιν καταθήξετ’ ὀδόντα,
κλαύσεσθ’ οὐκ ἀγαθὸν κῶμον ἐπερχόμενοι.
(Ariston, Anth. Gr. 6.303)

Mice, if you have come for bread, go to some other corner (my hut is ill-supplied), where ye shall nibble fat cheese and dried figs, and get a plentiful dinner from the scraps. But if ye sharpen your teeth again on my books ye shall suffer for it and find that ye come to no pleasant banquet. (tr. William Roger Paton)

Lōpodutas

23222252169_57a2283ccd

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)

Hadion

Creiddylad-featured-image

Ἅδιον οὐδὲν ἔρωτος· ἃ δ’ ὄλβια, δεύτερα πάντα
ἐστίν· ἀπὸ στόματος δ’ ἔπτυσα καὶ τὸ μέλι.
τοῦτο λέγει Νοσσίς· τίνα δ’ ἁ Κύπρις οὐκ ἐφίλασεν,
οὐκ οἶδεν τήνας τἄνθεα, ποῖα ῥόδα.
(Nossis, Anth. Gr. 5.170)

Nothing is sweeter than love; all good things come second: even honey I spat from my mouth. Nossis says this, and whomever Cypris has not kissed does not know what roses her flowers are. (tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller)

Achō

DP208016
Alexandre Cabanel, Echo

Ἀχὼ φίλα, μοὶ συγκαταίνεσόν τι. — τί;
ἐρῶ κορίσκας: ἁ δὲ μ’ οὐ φιλεῖ. — φιλεῖ.
πρᾶξαι δ’ ὁ καιρὸς καιρὸν οὐ φέρει. — φέρει.
τὺ τοίνυν αὐτᾷ λέξον ὡς ἐρῶ. — ἐρῶ.
καὶ πίστιν αὐτᾷ κερμάτων τὺ δός. — τὺ δός.
ἀχώ, τί λοιπόν, ἢ πόθου τυχεῖν; — τυχεῖν.
(Gauradas, Anth. Gr. 16.152)

Wilt grant a favour if I name it? – Name it.
I love, but doubt if she’s not shy. – Not shy.
Then I’ve the right if I could claim it. – Claim it.
Then tell her for her love sigh I. – Ay, ay.
I have a little gift to make her. – Make her.
Then all that’s left to do’s to take her. – Take her.
(tr. John Maxwell Edmonds)

Agrupnos

sakin-ofkeliyken-uyumayin-h1480666329-a0e0ea

Πταίης μοι κώνωψ, ταχὺς ἄγγελος, οὔασι δ’ ἄκροις
Ζηνοφίλας ψαύσας προσψιθύριζε τάδε·
“ἄγρυπνος μίμνει σε· σὺ δ’, ὦ λήθαργε φιλούντων,
εὕδεις.” εἶα, πέτευ· ναί, φιλόμουσε, πέτευ·
ἥσυχα δὲ φθέγξαι, μὴ καὶ σύγκοιτον ἐγείρας
κινήσῃς ἐπ’ ἐμοὶ ζηλοτύπους ὀδύνας.
ἢν δ’ ἀγάγῃς τὴν παῖδα, δορᾷ στέψω σε λέοντος,
κώνωψ, καὶ δώσω χειρὶ φέρειν ῥόπαλον.
(Meleager, Anth. Gr. 5.152)

Fly for me, mosquito: be my swift messenger. Alight on the rim of Zenophila’s ear and whisper this: “He is awake, and waits for you; but you forget those who love you, and sleep.” Up, fly! Yes, musical one, fly! But speak quietly, so you don’t wake the man who is sleeping with her and arouse in him pangs of jealousy against me. If you bring the girl, I will hood you with a lion’s pelt, mosquito, and give you a club to carry in your hand*.

* The mosquito would thus be attired like Heracles. While other instances of mosquitoes imitating Heracles are (not surprisingly) unknown, Love was sometimes depicted wearing a lion skin.

(tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller, with the latter’s note)

Oxuboai

well_mosquito-facebookJumbo

Ὀξυβόαι κώνωπες, ἀναιδέες αἵματος ἀνδρῶν
σίφωνες, νυκτὸς κνώδαλα διπτέρυγα,
βαιὸν Ζηνοφίλαν, λίτομαι, πάρεθ’ ἥσυχον ὕπνῳ
εὕδειν, τἀμὰ δ’, ἰδού, σαρκοφαγεῖτε μέλη.
καίτοι πρὸς τί μάτην αὐδῶ; καὶ θῆρες ἄτεγκτοι
τέρπονται τρυφερῷ χρωτὶ χλιαινόμενοι.
ἀλλ’ ἔτι νῦν προλέγω, κακὰ θρέμματα, λήγετε τόλμης,
ἢ γνώσεσθε χερῶν ζηλοτύπων δύναμιν.
(Meleager, Anth. Gr. 5.151)

Shrill-voiced mosquitoes, shameless suckers of men’s blood, night’s winged predators, I beg you, let Zenophila sleep a little in peace. Here: gorge yourselves on my limbs! But why am I wasting my words? Pitiless beasts also love to be warmed by her tender flesh. But I now forewarn you, evil creatures: do not defy me, or you will feel the strength of my jealous hands. (tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller)

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)