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.
    Of Zeus rushed in, and with his broadsword drave
    Through flank and navel, sundering with swift stroke
    His vitals:  Lynceus tottered and he fell,
    And o’er his eyelids rushed the dreamless sleep. 
    Nor did their mother see her elder son
    Come a fair bridegroom to his Cretan home. 
    For Idas wrenched from off the dead man’s tomb
    A jutting slab, to hurl it at the man
    Who had slain his brother.  Then did Zeus bring aid,
    And struck the marble fabric from his grasp,
    And with red lightning burned his frame to dust. 
    So doth he fight with odds who dares provoke
    The Tyndarids, mighty sons of mighty sire. 
    Now farewell, Leda’s children:  prosper aye
    The songs I sing.  What minstrel loves not well
    The Tyndarids, and Helen, and the chiefs
    That trod Troy down for Menelaeus’ sake? 
    The bard of Chios wrought your royal deeds
    Into his lays, who sang of Priam’s state,
    And fights ’neath Ilion’s walls; of sailor Greeks,
    And of Achilles towering in the strife. 
    Yet take from me whate’er of clear sweet song
    The Muse accords me, even all my store! 
    The gods’ most precious gift is minstrelsy.

IDYLL XXIII.

Love Avenged

    A lad deep-dipt in passion pined for one
      Whose mood was froward as her face was fair. 
    Lovers she loathed, for tenderness she had none: 
      Ne’er knew what Love was like, nor how he bare
    A bow, and arrows to make young maids smart: 
    Proof to all speech, all access, seemed her heart.

    So he found naught his furnace to allay;
      No quiver of lips, no lighting of kind eyes,
    Nor rose-flushed cheek; no talk, no lover’s play
      Was deigned him:  but as forest-beasts are shy
    Of hound and hunter, with this wight dealt she;
    Fierce was her lip, her eyes gleamed ominously.

    Her tyrant’s-heart was imaged in her face,
      That flushed, then altering put on blank disdain. 
    Yet, even then, her anger had its grace,
      And made her lover fall in love again. 
    At last, unable to endure his flame,
    To the fell threshold all in tears he came: 

    Kissed it, and lifted up his voice and said: 
      “O heart of stone, O curst and cruel maid
    Unworthy of all love, by lions bred,
      See, my last offering at thy feet is laid,
    The halter that shall hang me!  So no more
    For my sake, lady, need thy heart be sore.

    Whither thou doom’st me, thither must I fare. 
      There is a path, that whoso treads hath ease
    (Men say) from love; Forgetfulness is there. 
      But if I drain that chalice to the lees,
    I may not quench the love I have for you;
    Now at your gates I cast my long adieu.

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