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Title: Love, Worship and Death - Some Renderings from the Greek Anthology
Author: Rodd, Rennell, 1858-1941
Language: English
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LOVE, WORSHIP AND DEATH

Some renderings from the Greek Anthology

BY

SIR RENNELL RODD


AUTHOR OF

'BALLADS OF THE FLEET'

'THE VIOLET CROWN,' ETC.



LONDON

EDWARD ARNOLD

1916



INTRODUCTION


Among the many diverse forms of expression in which the Greek genius has
been revealed to us, that which is preserved in the lyrics of the
anthology most typically reflects the familiar life of men, the thought
and feeling of every day in the lost ancient world. These little flowers
of song reveal, as does no other phase of that great literature, a
personal outlook on life, kindly, direct and simple, the tenderness
which characterised family relations, the reciprocal affection of master
and slave, sympathy with the domestic animals, a generous sense of the
obligations of friendship, a gentle piety and a close intimacy with the
nature gods, of whose presence, malignant or benign, the Greek was ever
sensitively conscious. For these reasons they still make so vivid an
appeal to us after a long silence of many centuries. To myself who have
lived for some years in that enchanted world of Greece, and have sailed
from island to island of its haunted seas, the shores have seemed still
quick with the voices of those gracious presences who gave exquisite
form to their thoughts on life and death, their sense of awe and beauty
and love. There indeed poetry seems the appropriate expression of the
environment, and there even still to-day, more than anywhere else in the
world, the correlation of our life with nature may be felt
instinctively; the human soul seems nearest to the soul of the world.

The poems, of which some renderings are here offered to those who cannot
read the originals, cover a period of about a thousand years, broken by
one interval during which the lesser lyre is silent. The poets of the
_elegy_ and the _melos_ appear in due succession after those of the
_epic_ and, significant perhaps of the transition, there are found in
the first great period of the lyric the names of two women, Sappho of
Lesbos, acknowledged by the unanimous voice of antiquity, which is
confirmed by the quality of a few remaining fragments, to be among the
greatest poets of all times, and Corinna of Tanagra, who contended with
Pindar and rivalled Sappho's mastery. The canon of Alexandria does not
include among the nine greater lyrists the name of Erinna of Rhodes, who
died too young, in the maiden glory of her youth and fame. The earlier
poets of the _melos_ were for the most part natives of

                    'the sprinkled isles,
     Lily on lily that overlace the sea.'

Theirs is the age of the austerer mood, when the clean-cut marble
outlines of a great language matured in its noblest expression. Then a
century of song is followed by the period of the dramatists during which
the lyric muse is almost silent, in an age of political and intellectual
intensity.

A new epoch of lyrical revival is inaugurated by the advent of
Alexander, and the wide extension of Hellenic culture to more distant
areas of the Mediterranean. Then follows the long succession of poets
who may generally be classified as of the school of Alexandria. Among
them are three other women singers of high renown, Anyte of Tegea,
Nossis of Locri in southern Italy, and Moero of Byzantium. The later
writers of this period had lost the graver purity of the first lyric
outburst, but they had gained by a wider range of sympathy and a closer
touch with nature. This group may be said to close with Meleager, who
was born in Syria and educated at Tyre, whose contact with the eastern
world explains a certain suggestive and exotic fascination in his poetry
which is not strictly Greek. The Alexandrian is followed by the Roman
period, and the Roman by the Byzantine, in which the spirit of the muse
of Hellas expires reluctantly in an atmosphere of bureaucratic and
religious pedantry.

These few words of introduction should suffice, since the development of
the lyric poetry of Greece and the characteristics of its successive
exponents have been made familiar to English readers in the admirable
work of my friend J.W. Mackail. A reference to his _Select Epigrams from
the Greek Anthology_ suggests one plea of justification for the present
little collection of renderings, since the greater number of them have
been by him translated incomparably well into prose.

Of the quality of verse translation there are many tests: the closeness
with which the intention and atmosphere of the original has been
maintained; the absence of extraneous additions; the omission of no
essential feature, and the interpretation, by such equivalent as most
adequately corresponds, of individualities of style and assonances of
language. But not the least essential justification of poetical
translation is that the version should constitute a poem on its own
account, worthy to stand by itself on its own merits if the reader were
unaware that it was a translation. It is to this test especially that
renderings in verse too often fail to conform. I have discarded not a
few because they seemed too obviously to bear the forced expression
which the effort to interpret is apt to induce. Of those that remain
some at least I hope approach the desired standard, failing to achieve
which they would undoubtedly be better expressed in simple prose. And
yet there is a value in rendering rhythm by rhythm where it is possible,
and if any success has been attained, such translations probably convey
more of the spirit of the original, which meant verse, with all which
that implies, and not prose.

The arrangement in this little volume is approximately chronological in
sequence. This should serve to illustrate the severe and restrained
simplicity of the earlier writers as contrasted with the more complex
and conscious thought, and the more elaborate expression of later
centuries when the horizons of Hellenism had been vastly extended.

The interpretation of these lyrics has been my sole and grateful
distraction during a period of ceaseless work and intense anxiety in the
tragic years of 1914 and 1915.

R.R.



INDEX OF AUTHORS


MIMNERMUS--CARPE DIEM

SAPPHO--
  I. A BITTER WORD
  II. THE BELOVED PRESENCE
  III. HESPER
  IV. OUT OF REACH

ANACREONTICA--
  I. LOVE'S CHALLENGE
  II. BACCHANAL
  III. HER PORTRAIT
  IV. METAMORPHOSIS
  V. APOLOGIA

UNKNOWN--ANACREON'S GRAVE

SIMONIDES--
  I. ON THE SPARTANS
  II. ON THE ATHENIANS

PLATO--
  I. A GRAVE IN PERSIA
  II. STARWORSHIP
  III. THE UNSET STAR
  IV. LAIS

PERSES--A RUSTIC SHRINE

ANYTE OF TEGEA--
  I. A SHRINE BY THE SEA
  II. THE GOD OF THE CROSS-ROADS

ADDAEUS--THE ANCIENT OX

ASCLEPIADES--THE PRAISE OF LOVE

MICIAS--A WAYSIDE FOUNTAIN

CALLIMACHUS--CAST UP BY THE SEA

NOSSIS--
  I. ROSES OF CYPRIS
  II. RINTHO'S GRAVE

LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM--
  I. ERINNA
  II. THE FOUNTAIN HEAD

DIONYSUS--THE ROSE OF YOUTH

DAMAGETUS--THEANO

ARCHIAS--
  I. THE HARBOUR GOD
  II. A GRAVE BY THE SEA

MELEAGER--
  I. LOVE'S QUIVER
  II. THE CUP
  III. ZENOPHILE
  IV. LOVE AND DEATH
  V. LOVE'S MALICE
  VI. ASCLEPIAS
  VII. HELIODORA
  VIII. THE WREATH
  IX. LIBATION
  X. THE GRAVE OF HELIODORA
  XI. HIS EPITAPH

CRINAGORAS--ROSES IN WINTER

JULIUS POLYAENUS--
  AN EXILE'S PRAYER

ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA--
  A GRAVE AT OSTIA

UNKNOWN--
  FRIENDSHIP'S EPITAPH

UNKNOWN--
  THE COUNSEL OF PAN
  BÉNITIER
  THE END OF THE COMEDY

STRATO--THE KISS

AMMIANUS--THE LORD OF LANDS

ALPHEUS--MYCENAE

MACEDONIUS--THE THRESHOLD

NOTES



MIMNERMUS

7TH CENTURY B.C.



     CARPE DIEM


     Hold fast thine youth, dear soul of mine, new lives will come to birth,
     And I that shall have passed away be one with the brown earth.



     SAPPHO

     7TH AND 6TH CENTURY B.C.



     I

     A BITTER WORD


     Dying thou shalt lie in nothingness, nor after
     Love shall abide here nor memory of thee;
     For thou hast no portion in the roses of Pieria;
     But even in the nether world obscurely shalt thou wander
     Flitting hither thither with the phantoms of the dead.


     Note 1



     II

     THE BELOVED PRESENCE


     Blest as the Gods are esteem I him who alway
     Sits face to face with thee and watching thee forgoes not
     The voice that is music and the smile that is seduction,
                 Smile that my heart knows
     Fluttered in its chambers. For lo, when I behold thee
     Forthwith my voice fails, my tongue is tied in silence,
     Flame of fire goes through me, my ears are full of murmur,
                 Blinded I see naught:
     Sweat breaketh forth on me, and all my being trembles,
     Paler am I grown than the pallor of the dry grass,
     Death seemeth almost to have laid his hand upon me.--
                      Then I dare all things.


     Note 2



     III

     HESPER


     Thou, Hesper, bringest homeward all
       That radiant dawn sped far and wide:
     The sheep to fold, the goat to stall,
       The children to their mother's side.



     IV

     OUT OF REACH


     Like the apple that ripens rosy at the end of a branch on high,
       At the utmost end of the utmost bough,
       Which those that gather forgot till now.
     Nay, did not forget, but only they never might come thereby.



     ANACREONTICA

     ANACREON, 6TH CENTURY B.C.



     I

     LOVE'S CHALLENGE


     Love smote me with his jacinth wand and challenged me to race,
     And wore me down with running till the sweat poured off my face,
     Through breaks of tangled woodland, by chasms sheer to scale,
     Until my heart was in my lips and at the point to fail.
     Then as I felt his tender wings brush lightly round my head,
     ''Tis proven that thou lackest the strength to love,' he said.


     Note 3



     II

     BACCHANAL


     When Bacchus hath possessed me my cares are lulled in wine,
     And all the wealth of Croesus is not more his than mine:
     I crown my head with ivy, I lift my voice to sing,
     And in my exultation seem lord of every thing.
     So let the warrior don his arms, give me my cup instead,
     If I must lie my length on earth, why better drunk than dead.



     III

     HER PORTRAIT


     Master of all the craftsmen,
       Prince of the Rhodian art,
     Interpret, master craftsman,
       Each detail I impart,
     And draw as were she present
       The mistress of my heart.

     First you must match those masses
       Of darkly clustered hair,
     And if such skill be in your wax
       The scent that harbours there;
     And where the flowing tresses cast
       A warm-toned shadow, trace
     A forehead white as ivory,
       The oval of her face.
     Her brows you must not quite divide
       Nor wholly join, there lies
     A subtle link between them
       Above the dark-lashed eyes.
     And you must borrow flame of fire
       To give her glance its due,
     As tender as Cithera's
       And as Athena's blue.
     For cheek and nostril rose-leaves
       And milk you shall enlist,
     And shape her lips like Peitho's
       Inviting to be kissed.
     Let all the Graces stay their flight
       And gather round to deck
     The outline of her tender chin,
       The marble of her neck.
     And for the rest--bedrape her
       In robe of purple hue,
     With here and there to give it life
       The flesh tint peeping through.
     Now hold thy hand,--for I can see
       The face and form I seek,
     And surely in a moment's space
       I think your wax will speak.


     Note 4



     IV

     METAMORPHOSIS


     If she who, born to Tantalus,
       As Niobe we know,
     Was turned to stone among the hills
       Of Phrygia long ago;
     If Proene by such magic change
       Was made a bird that flies,
     Let me become the mirror
       That holds my lady's eyes!
     Or let me be the water
       In which your beauty bathes,
     Or the dress which clinging closely
       Your gracious presence swathes;
     Or change me to the perfume
       You sprinkle on your skin,
     Or let me be the pearl-drop
       That hangs beneath your chin;
     And if not these the girdle
       You bind below your breast;
     Or be at least the sandal
       Your little foot hath pressed.



     V

     APOLOGIA


     The brown earth drinks from heaven, and from the earth the tree,
     The sea drinks down the vapour, and the sun drinks up the sea,
     The moon drinks in the sunlight; now therefore, comrades, say
     What fault have you to find in me if I would drink as they?



     AUTHOR UNKNOWN



     ANACREON'S GRAVE


     You that pass this place of graves
       Pause and spill a cup for me,
     For I hold Anacreon's ashes,
       And would drink as once would he.



     SIMONIDES

     556-467 B.C.



     _THE PLATAEAN EPITAPHS_



     I

     ON THE SPARTANS


     These who with fame eternal their own dear land endowed
     Took on them as a mantle the shade of death's dark cloud;
     Yet dying thus they died not, on whom is glory shed
     By virtue which exalts them above all other dead.



     II

     ON THE ATHENIANS


     If to die nobly be the meed that lures the noblest mind,
     Then unto us of all men in this was fortune kind.
     For Greece we marched, that freedom's arm should ever round her fold;
     We died, but gained for guerdon renown  that grows not old.



     PLATO

     429-347 B.C.



     I

     A GRAVE IN PERSIA


     Far from our own Ægean shore
       And the surges booming deep,
     Here where Ecbatana's great plain
       Lies broad, we exiles sleep.
     Farewell, Eretria the renowned,
       Where once we used to dwell;
     Farewell, our neighbour Athens;
       Beloved sea, farewell!


     Note 5



     II

     STARWORSHIP


     Thou gazest starward, star of mine, whose heaven I fain would be,
     That all my myriad starry eyes might only gaze on thee.



     III

     THE UNSET STAR


     Star that didst on the living at dawn thy lustre shed,
     Now as the star of evening thou shinest with the dead!



     IV

     LAIS


     I that through the land of Hellas
       Laughed in triumph and disdain,
     Lais, of whose open porches
       All the love-struck youth were fain,
     Bring the mirror once I gazed in,
       Cyprian, at thy shrine to vow,
     Since I see not there what once was,
       And I would not what is now.



     PERSES

     4TH CENTURY B.C.



     A RUSTIC SHRINE


     I am the god of the little things,
       In whom you will surely find,
     If you call upon me in season,
       A little god who is kind.
     You must not ask of me great things,
       But what is in my control,
     I, Tychon, god of the humble,
       May grant to a simple soul.


     Note 6



     ANYTE OF TEGEA

     4TH CENTURY B.C.



     I

     A SHRINE BY THE SEA


     This is the Cyprian's holy ground,
       Who ever loves to stand
     Where she can watch the shining seas
       Beyond the utmost land;
     That sailors on their voyages
       May prosper by her aid,
     Whose radiant effigy the deep
       Beholding is afraid.



     II

     THE GOD OF THE CROSS-ROADS


     I, Hermes, by the grey sea-shore,
       Set where the three roads meet,
     Outside the wind-swept garden,
       Give rest to weary feet;
     The waters of my fountain
       Are clear, and cool, and sweet.



     ADDAEUS

     4TH CENTURY B.C.



     THE ANCIENT OX


     The ox of Alcon was not led to the slaughter when at length
     Age and the weary furrow had sapped his olden strength.
     His faithful work was honoured, and in the deep grass now
     He strays and lows contentment, enfranchised from the plough.



     ASCLEPIADES

     3RD CENTURY B.C.



     THE PRAISE OF LOVE


     Sweet is the snow in summer thirst to drink, and sweet the day
     When sailors see spring's garland bloom and winter pass away.
     But the sweetest thing on earth is when, one mantle for their cover,
     Two hearts recite the Cyprian's praise as lover unto lover.



     MICIAS

     3RD CENTURY B.C.



     A WAYSIDE FOUNTAIN


     Rest here beneath the poplars,
       When tired with travelling,
     And drawing nigh refresh you
       With water from our spring.
     So may you keep in memory
       When under other skies
     The fount his father Simus set
       By the grave where Gillus lies.



     CALLIMACHUS

     3RD CENTURY B.C.



     CAST UP BY THE SEA


     Who were you, shipwrecked sailor? The body that he found,
     Cast on the beach, Leontichus laid in this burial mound;
     And mindful of his own grim life he wept, for neither he
     May rest in peace who like a gull goes up and down the sea.



     NOSSIS

     3RD CENTURY B.C.



     I

     ROSES OF CYPRIS


     Of all the world's delightful things most sweet is love. The rest,
     Ay, even honey in the mouth, are only second best.
     This Nossis saith. And only they the Cyprian loves may know
     The glory of the roses that in her garden grow.



     II

     RINTHO'S GRAVE


     Give me a hearty laugh, and say
     A friendly word and go thy way.
     Rintho was I of Syracuse,
     A modest song bird of the muse,
     Whose tears and smiles together sown
     Have born an ivy all my own.


     Note 7



     LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM

     3RD CENTURY B.C.



     I

     ERINNA


     The lyric maid Erinna, the poet-bee that drew
     The honey from the rarest blooms the muses' garden grew,
     Hath Hades snatched to be his bride. Mark where the maiden saith,
     Prophetic in her wisdom, 'How envious art thou, Death!'


     Note 8



     II

     THE FOUNTAIN HEAD


     Pause not here to drink thy fill
     Where the sheep have stirred the rill,
     And the pool lies warm and still--
     Cross yon ridge a little way,
     Where the grazing heifers stray,
     And the stone-pine's branches sway
     O'er a creviced rock below;
     Thence the bubbling waters flow
     Cooler than the northern snow.



     DIONYSUS

     2ND CENTURY B.C. (?)


     THE ROSE OF YOUTH


     Girl with the roses and the grace
     Of all the roses in your face,
     Are you, or are the blooms you bear,
     Or haply both your market ware?



     DAMAGETUS

     2ND CENTURY B.C.



     THEANO


     These words, renowned Phocæa, were the last Theano said,
     As she went down into the night that none hath harvested.
     Hapless am I, Apellichus, beloved husband mine,
     Where in the wide, wide waters is now that bark of thine?
     My doom hath come upon me, and would to God that I
     Had felt my hand in thy dear hand on the day I had to die.



     ARCHIAS

     1ST CENTURY B.C.



     I

     THE HARBOUR GOD


     Me, Pan, whose presence haunts the shore,
       The fisher folk set here,
     To guard their haven anchorage
       On the cliff that they revere;
     And thence I watch them cast the net
       And mind their fishing gear.
     Sail past me, traveller: for I send
       The gentle southern breeze,
     Because of this their piety,
       To speed thee over seas.



     II

     A GRAVE BY THE SEA


     I, shipwrecked Theris, whom the tide
       Flung landward from the deep,
     Not even dead may I forget
       The shores that know not sleep.
     Beneath the cliffs that break the surf
       My body found a grave,
     Dug by the hands of stranger men,
       Beside the cruel wave:
     And still ill-starred among the dead
       I hear for evermore
     The hateful booming of the seas
       That thunder on the shore.



     MELEAGER

     1ST CENTURY B.C.



     I

     LOVE'S QUIVER


     By Heliodora's sandalled foot, and Demo's waving hair,
     By Dorothea's wreath of blooms unbudding to the air,
     By Anticlea's winsome smile and the great eyes of her,
     And by Timarion's open door distilling scent like myrrh,
     I know the god of love has spent his arrows winged to smart,
     For all the shafts his quiver held I have them in my heart.



     II

     THE CUP


     The cup takes heart of gladness, whose boast it is to be
     Sipped by the mouth of love's delight, soft-voiced Zenophile.
     Most favoured cup! I would that she with lips to my lips pressed
     Would drink the soul in one deep draught, that is my body's guest.



     III

     ZENOPHILE


     Sweet is the music of that air, by Pan of Arcady,
     Thou drawest from the harpstrings, too sweet, Zenophile;
     The thronging loves on every side close in and press me nigh,
     And leave me scarce a breathing space, so whither can I fly?
     Is it thy beauty or thy song that kindles my desire,
     Thy grace, or every thing thou art? For I am all on fire.



     IV

     LOVE AND DEATH


     Friend Cleobulus, when I die
       Who conquered by desire,
     Abandoned in the ashes lie
       Of youth's consuming fire,
     Do me this service, drench in wine
       The urn you pass beneath,
     And grave upon it this one line,
       'The gift of Love to Death.'



     V

     LOVE'S MALICE


     Cruel is Love, ah cruel, and what can I do more
     Than moaning love is cruel, repeat it o'er and o'er?
     I know the boy is laughing and pleased that I grow grim,
     And just the bitter things I say are the bread of life to him.
     But you that from the grey-green wave arising, Cyprian, came,
     'Tis strange that out of water you should have borne a flame.



     VI

     ASCLEPIAS


     Like the calm sea beguiling with those blue eyes of hers,
     Asclepias tempteth all men to be love's mariners.



     VII

     HELIODORA


     Say Heliodore, and Heliodore, and still say Heliodore,
     And let the music of her name mix with the wine you pour.
     And wreath me with the wreath she wore, that holds the scent of myrrh,
     For all that it be yesterday's, in memory of her.
     The rose that loveth lovers, the rose lets fall a tear
     Because my arms are empty, because she is not here.



     VIII

     THE WREATH


     White violet with the tender-leaved narcissus I will twine,
     And the laughing lips of lilies with myrtle blooms combine;
     And I will bind the hyacinth, the dark red-purple flower,
     With crocus sweet and roses that are the lovers' dower,
     To make the wreath that Heliodore's curl-scented brow shall wear,
     To strew with falling petals the glory of her hair.



     IX

     LIBATION


     Pour out as if for Peitho, and for the Cyprian pour,
     Then for the sweet-voiced Graces, but all for Heliodore;
     For there is but one goddess whose worship I enshrine,
     And blent with her beloved name I drink the virgin wine.



     X

     THE GRAVE OF HELIODORA


     Tears for thee, Heliodore, and bitter tears to shed,
     If all that love has left to give can reach thee with the dead;
     Here at thy grave I offer, that tear-drenched grave of thine,
     Libation of my longing before affection's shrine.
     Forlorn I mourn thee, dearest, in the land where shadows dwell,
     Forlorn, and grudge the tribute death could have spared so well.
     Where is the flower I cherished? Plucked by the god of doom;
     Plucked, and his dust has tarnished the scarce unbudded bloom.
     I may but pray thee, mother earth, who givest all thy best,
     Clasp her I mourn for ever close to thy gentle breast.



     XI

     HIS EPITAPH


     Tread softly, ye that pass, for here
       The old man rests his head,
     And sleeps the sleep that all men must
       Among the honoured dead.
     Meleager, son of Eucrates,
       Who linked the joyous train
     Of Graces and of Muses
       With love's delicious pain.
     From Gadara, the sacred land,
       I came and god-built Tyre,
     But Meropis and pleasant Cos
       Consoled life's waning fire.
     If thou be Syrian, say Salaam,
       Or Hail, if Greek thou be,
     Say Naidios, if Phœnician born,
       For all are one to me.



     CRINAGORAS

     1ST CENTURY B.C.



     ROSES IN WINTER


     In spring it was we roses
       Were used to bloom of old,
     Who now in midmost winter
       Our crimson cells unfold,
     To greet thee on the birthday
       That shall thy bridal bring.
     'Tis more to grace so fair a brow
       Than know the suns of spring.



     JULIUS POLYAENUS

     1ST CENTURY B.C.



     AN EXILE'S PRAYER


     Among the myriad voices that seek to win thine ear
     From those whose prayers are granted, from those who pray in fear,
     O Zeus of Scheria's holy plain, let my voice reach thee too,
     And hearken and incline the brow that binds thy promise true.
     Let my long exile have an end, my toil and travel past,
     Grant me in my own native land to live at rest at last!



     ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA

     1ST CENTURY B.C.



     A GRAVE AT OSTIA


     Ausonian earth contains me
       That was a Libyan maid,
     And in the sea's sand hard by Rome
       My virgin form was laid.
     Pompeia with a mother's care
       Watched o'er my tender years,
     Entombed me here among the free,
       And gave me many tears.
     Not as she prayed the torch was fired,
       She would have burned for me;
     The lamp which took the torch's place
       Was thine, Persephone.



     AUTHOR UNKNOWN



     FRIENDSHIP'S EPITAPH


     This stone, my good Sabinus, although it be but small,
     Shall be of our great friendship a witness unto all.
     Ever shall I desire thee, and thou, if this may be,
     Forbear to drink among the dead the lethe-draft for me.


     Note 9



     THE COUNSEL OF PAN


     In this green meadow, traveller, yield
       Thy weary limbs to rest:
     The branches of the stone pine sway
       To the wind from out the west;
     The cricket calls, and all noon long
       The shepherd's piping fills
     The plane-grove's leafy shadows
       By the spring among the hills.
     Soothed by these sounds thou shalt avoid
       The dogstar's autumn fires,
     And then to-morrow cross the ridge;--
       Such wisdom Pan inspires.



     BÉNITIER


     Touch but the virgin water, clean of soul,
       Nor fear to pass into the pure god's sight:
     For the good a drop suffices. But the whole
       Great ocean could not wash the unclean white.



     THE END OF THE COMEDY


     Fortune and Hope, a long adieu!
       My ship is safe in port.
     With me is nothing left to do,
       Make other lives your sport.


     Note 10



     STRATO

     2ND CENTURY A.D.



     THE KISS


     It was at even and the hour in which good-nights are bid
     That Mœris kissed me, if indeed I do not dream she did.
     Of all the rest that happened there is naught that I forget,
     No word she said, no question of all she asked,--and yet
     If she indeed did kiss me, my doubt can not decide,
     For how could I still walk the earth had I been deified!



     AMMIANUS

     2ND CENTURY A.D.



     THE LORD OF LANDS


     Though till the gates of Heracles thy land-marks thou extend,
     Their share in earth is equal for all men at the end;
     And thou shalt lie as Irus lies, one obol all thy store,
     And be resolved into an earth that is thine own no more.


     Note 11



     ALPHEUS

     2ND CENTURY A.D.



     MYCENAE


     The cities of the hero age thine eyes may seek in vain,
     Save where some wrecks of ruin still break the level plain.
     So once I saw Mycenae, the ill-starred, a barren height
     Too bleak for goats to pasture,--the goat-herds point the site.
     And as I passed a greybeard said, 'Here used to stand of old
     A city built by giants, and passing rich in gold.'


     Note 12



     MACEDONIUS

     6TH CENTURY A.D.



     THE THRESHOLD


     Spirit of Birth, that gave me life,
       Earth, that receives my clay,
     Farewell, for I have travelled
       The stage that twixt you lay.
     I go, and have no knowledge
       From whence I came to you,
     Nor whither I shall journey,
       Nor whose I am, nor who.



NOTES


Note 1.

In this, No. 68 of the Sappho fragments, I have followed the reading

  _κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσεαι οὐδέ ποτα μναμοσύνα_
      _σέθεν_
  _ἔσσετ' οὐδ' ἔρος εἰς ὔστερον·_

rather than

  _κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσεαι πότα, κωὐ μναμοσύνα σέθεν._
  _ἔσσετ' οὔτε τότ' οὔτ' ὔστερον·_

    'Dying thou shalt lie in nothingness, nor of
    thee
    There nor thereafter shall memory abide.'


Note 2.

A portion of this fragment was adopted by Catullus.


Note 3.

Anacreon's date is 563-478 B.C. It must, alas, be admitted that the
poems attributed to him are, with the exception of a few fragments, all
of them dubious and most of them certainly spurious. He had a great
number of imitators down to a much later time, and a considerable number
of the pseudo-Anacreontic poems are preserved in an appendix to the
Palatine anthology. It may be assumed that some of them reflect a
portion of his spirit, and many of them are graceful in conceit and
beautiful in form. The specimens here given must be classed upon the
productions of his later imitators, although they are inserted in the
place where in chronological order the real Anacreon would have
followed.


Note 4.

The portraiture of the Greeks was executed with tinted wax, and not with
colours rendered fluid by a liquid or oily medium. The various tints and
tones of wax were probably laid on with the finger tips or with a
spatula.


Note 5.

There was more than one Plato, but the great Plato is evidently referred
to in the prefatory poem of Meleager as included among the poets of his
anthology.

Captives from Eretria were established in a colony in Persia by Darius
after the first Persian war. The colony at Ardericca was, however,
hundreds of miles from Ecbatana.

If the epigram on Lais is not attributed to the great Plato by the most
competent authorities, the dates of the two famous courtesans who bore
the name would not exclude the possibility of his being the author.


Note 6.

Tychon is identified with Priapus.


Note 7.

Rintho founded a new school of serio-comic drama about 300 B.C. The ivy
was sacred to Dionysus, in whose worship the drama had its origin.


Note 8.

Also attributed to Meleager. The phrase, _βάσκανος ἔσσ' Ἀΐδα_, here
quoted is from Erinna's lament for Baucis, one of the rare surviving
lyrics of the Rhodian poetess.


Note 9.

The anonymous epigrams here inserted are probably not in their proper
chronological places. But as they could not be definitely assigned to
any date I have placed them between the two categories of B.C. and A.D.



Note 10.

There is a Latin version of this epigram on a tomb in the pavement of a
church in Rome (S. Lorenzo in Panisperna).

    Inveni portum, spes et fortuna valete,
      Nil mihi vobiscum, ludite nunc alios.


Note 11.

Irus was the beggar of the Odyssey who ran messages for the suitors of
Penelope. The obol referred to is the small coin placed between the lips
of the dead to pay the toll to the ferryman of Hades.


Note 12.

It is interesting to know from the evidence of Alpheus, who visited the
sites of the Homeric cities, that nearly two thousand years ago the site
of Mycenae was just as it remained until the excavations of Schliemann.





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