Theocritus, translated into English Verse eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 147 pages of information about Theocritus, translated into English Verse.

    Forth went he; Scythian-wise his bow he bore
      And the great club that never quits his side;
    And thrice called ’Hylas’—­ne’er came lustier roar
      From that deep chest.  Thrice Hylas heard and tried
    To answer, but in tones you scarce might hear;
    The water made them distant though so near.

    And as a lion, when he hears the bleat
      Of fawns among the mountains far away,
    A murderous lion, and with hurrying feet
      Bounds from his lair to his predestined prey: 
    So plunged the strong man in the untrodden brake—­
    (Lovers are maniacs)—­for his darling’s sake.

    He scoured far fields—­what hill or oaken glen
      Remembers not that pilgrimage of pain? 
    His troth to Jason was forgotten then. 
      Long time the good ship tarried for those twain
    With hoisted sails; night came and still they cleared
    The hatches, but no Heracles appeared.

    On he was wandering, reckless where he trod,
      So mad a passion on his vitals preyed: 
    While Hylas had become a blessed god. 
      But the crew cursed the runaway who had stayed
    Sixty good oars, and left him there to reach
    Afoot bleak Phasis and the Colchian beach.

IDYLL XIV.

The Love of AEschines.

THYONICHUS.  AESCHINES.

AESCHINES. 
Hail, sir Thyonichus.

THYONICHUS. 
AEschines, to you.

AESCHINES. 
I have missed thee.

THYONICHUS. 
Missed me!  Why what ails him now?

AESCHINES. 
My friend, I am ill at ease.

THYONICHUS. 
Then this explains
Thy leanness, and thy prodigal moustache
And dried-up curls.  Thy counterpart I saw,
A wan Pythagorean, yesterday. 
He said he came from Athens:  shoes he had none: 
He pined, I’ll warrant,—­for a quartern loaf.

    AESCHINES. 
    Sir, you will joke—­But I’ve been outraged, sore,
    And by Cynisca.  I shall go stark mad
    Ere you suspect—­a hair would turn the scale.

    THYONICHUS. 
    Such thou wert always, AEschines my friend. 
    In lazy mood or trenchant, at thy whim
    The world must wag.  But what’s thy grievance now?

    AESCHINES. 
    That Argive, Apis the Thessalian Knight,
    Myself, and gallant Cleonicus, supped
    Within my grounds.  Two pullets I had slain,
    And a prime pig:  and broached my Biblian wine;
    ’Twas four years old, but fragrant as when new. 
    Truffles were served to us:  and the drink was good. 
    Well, we got on, and each must drain a cup
    To whom he fancied; only each must name. 
    We named, and took our liquor as ordained;
    But she sate silent—­this before my face. 
    Fancy my feelings!  “Wilt not speak?  Hast seen
    A wolf?” some wag said. 

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Theocritus, translated into English Verse from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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