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.
      As closelywov’n a warp:—­
    And who could wake with masterhand
      Such music from the harp,
    To broadlimbed Pallas tuning
      And Artemis her lay—­
    As Helen, Helen in whose eyes
      The Loves for ever play?

    “O bright, O beautiful, for thee
      Are matron-cares begun. 
    We to green paths and blossomed meads
      With dawn of morn must run,
    And cull a breathing chaplet;
      And still our dream shall be,
    Helen, of thee, as weanling lambs
      Yearn in the pasture for the dams
    That nursed their infancy.

    “For thee the lowly lotus-bed
      We’ll spoil, and plait a crown
    To hang upon the shadowy plane;
      For thee will we drop down
    (’Neath that same shadowy platan)
      Oil from our silver urn;
    And carven on the bark shall be
      This sentence, ‘HALLOW HELEN’S TREE’;
    In Dorian letters, legibly
      For all men to discern.

    “Now farewell, bride, and bridegroom
      Blest in thy new-found sire! 
    May Leto, mother of the brave,
      Bring babes at your desire,
    And holy Cypris either’s breast
      With mutual transport fire: 
    And Zeus the son of Cronos
      Grant blessings without end,
    From princely sire to princely son
      For ever to descend.

    “Sleep on, and love and longing
      Breathe in each other’s breast;
    But fail not when the morn returns
      To rouse you from your rest: 
    With dawn shall we be stirring,
      When, lifting high his fair
    And feathered neck, the earliest bird
      To clarion to the dawn is heard. 
        O god of brides and bridals,
          Sing ‘Happy, happy pair!’”

IDYLL XIX.

Love Stealing Honey.

    Once thievish Love the honeyed hives would rob,
    When a bee stung him:  soon he felt a throb
    Through all his finger-tips, and, wild with pain,
    Blew on his hands and stamped and jumped in vain. 
    To Aphrodite then he told his woe: 
    ‘How can a thing so tiny hurt one so?’
    She smiled and said; ’Why thou’rt a tiny thing,
    As is the bee; yet sorely thou canst sting.’

IDYLL XX.

Town and Country

    Once I would kiss Eunice.  “Back,” quoth she,
    And screamed and stormed; “a sorry clown kiss me? 
    Your country compliments, I like not such;
    No lips but gentles’ would I deign to touch. 
    Ne’er dream of kissing me:  alike I shun
    Your face, your language, and your tigerish fun. 
    How winning are your tones, how fine your air! 
    Your beard how silken and how sweet your hair! 
    Pah! you’ve a sick man’s lips, a blackamoor’s hand: 
    Your breath’s defilement.  Leave me, I command.”

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