Sidebilder
PDF

TRANSLATIONS OF GREEK VERSES.

FROM THE GREEK OF JULIANUS.

A Spartan, his companion slain,

Alone from battle fled;
His mother, kindling with disdain

That she had borne him, struck him dead;
For courage, and not birth alone,
In Sparta, testifies a son!

ON THE SAME, BY PALLADAS.

A Spartan 'scaping from the fight, His mother met him in his flight, Upheld a falchion to his breast, And thus the fugitive addressed:

"Thou canst but live to blot with shame

"Indelible thy mother's name,

"While every breath that thou shalt draw

"Offends against thy country's law:

"But, if thou perish by this hand,

"Myself indeed throughout the land,

"To my dishonour, shall be known"The mother still of such a son;

"But Sparta will be safe and free,

"And that shall serve to comfort me."

AN EPITAPH.

Mv name—my country—what are they to thee?
What, whether base or proud my pedigree?
Perhaps I far surpassed all other men;
Perhaps I fell below them all; what then?
Suffice it, stranger! that thou seest a tomb;
Thou know'st its use; it hides—no matter whom.

ANOTHER.

Take to thy bosom, gentle Earth! a swain
With much hard labour in thy service worn;

He set the vines that clothe yon ample plain,
And he these olives that the vale adorn.

He filled with grain the glebe; the rills he led
Through this green herbage, and those fruitful bowers;

Thou, therefore, Earth! lie lightly on his head,
His hoary head, and deck his grave with flowers.

ANOTHER.

Painter, this likeness is too strong,
And we shall mourn the dead too long.

ANOTHER.

At threescore winters' end I died,
A cheerless being, sole and sad;

The nuptial knot I never tied,
And wish my father never had.

BY CALLIMACHUS.

At morn we placed on his funereal bier
Young Melanippus; and at eventide,

Unable to sustain a loss so dear,
By her own hand his blooming sister died.

Thus Aristippus mourned his noble race,

Annihilated by a double blow,
Nor son could hope, nor daughter more to embrace,

And all Cyrene saddened at his woe.

ON AN UGLY FELLOW.

Beware, my friend! of crystal brook,
Or fountain, lest that hideous hook,

Thy nose, thou chance to see;
Narcissus' fate would then be thine,
And self-detested thou wouldst pine,

As self-enamoured he.

BY HERACLIDES.

In Cnidus born, the consort I became
Of Euphron. Aretimias was my name.
His bed I shared, nor proved a barren bride,
But bore two children at a birth, and died.
One child I leave to solace and uphold
Euphron hereafter, when infirm and old,
And one, for his remembrance' sake, I bear
To Pluto's realm, till he shall join me there.

ON THE REED.

I Was of late a barren plant,
Useless, insignificant,
Nor fig, nor grape, nor apple bore,
A native of the marshy shore;
But gathered for poetic use,
And plunged into a sable juice,
Of which my modicum I sip
With narrow mouth and slender lip,
At once, although by nature dumb,
All eloquent I have become,
And speak with fluency untired,
As if by Phcebus' self inspired.

TO HEALTH.

Eldest born of powers divine!
Blessed Hygeia! be it mine
To enjoy what thou canst give,
And henceforth with thee to live:
For in power if pleasure be,
Wealth or numerous progeny,
Or in amorous embrace,
Where no spy infests the place;
Or in aught that Heaven bestows
To alleviate human woes,
When the wearied heart despairs
Of a respite from its cares;
These and every true delight
Flourish only in thy sight;
And the sister Graces three
Owe, themselves, their youth to thee,
Without whom we may possess
Much, but never happiness.

ON AN INFANT.

Bewail not much, my parents! me, the prey
Of ruthless Hades, and sepulchred here.
An infant, in my fifth scarce finished year,
He found all sportive, innocent, and gay,
Your young Callimachus; and if I knew
Not many joys, my griefs were also few.

ON THE ASTROLOGERS.

The astrologers did all alike presage
My uncle's dying in extreme old age;
One only disagreed. But he was wise,
And spoke not till he heard the funeral cries.

ON AN OLD WOMAN.

Mvcilla dyes her locks, 'tis said;

But 'tis a foul aspersion:
She buys them black; they therefore need

No subsequent immersion.

ON INVALIDS.

Far happier are the dead, methinks, than they Who look for death, and fear it every day.

ON FLATTERERS.

No mischief worthier of our fear

In nature can be found
Than friendship, in ostent sincere,

But hollow and unsound;
For lulled into a dangerous dream

We close infold a foe,
Who strikes, when most secure we seem,

The inevitable blow.

ON A TRUE FRIEND.

11 AST thou a friend? Thou hast indeed

A rich and large supply,
Treasure to serve your every need,

Well managed, till you die.

TO THE SWALLOW.

Attic maid! with honey fed,
Bearest thou to thy callow brood

Yonder locust from the mead,
Destined their delicious food?

Ye have kindred voices clear,
Ye alike unfold the wing,

Migrate hither, sojourn here,
Both attendant on the spring!

Ah, for pity drop the prize;

Let it not with truth be said
That a songster gasps and dies

That a songster may be fed.

ON LATE-ACQUIRED WEALTH.

Poor in my youth, and in life's later scenes
Rich to no end, I curse my natal hour, Who nought enjoyed while young, denied the means;And nought when old enjoyed, denied the power.

ON A BATH, BY PLATO.

Did Cytherea to the skies From this pellucid lymph arise?

Or was it Cytherea's touch,

When bathing here, that made it such?

ON A FOWLER, BY ISIODORUS.

With seeds and birdlime, from the desert air,
Eumelus gathered free, though scanty, fare.
No lordly patron's hand he deigned to kiss,
Nor luxury knew, save liberty, nor bliss.
Thrice thirty years he lived, and to his heirs
His seeds bequeathed, his birdlime, and his snares.

ON NIOBE.

Charon! receive a family on board,
Itself sufficient for thy crazy yawl;

Apollo and Diana, for a word

By me too proudly spoken, slew us all.

« ForrigeFortsett »