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.

    ’Tis but the green trees whispering of our joys.

    You’ve torn my plaidie, and I am half unclad.

    Anon I’ll give thee a yet ampler plaid.

    Generous just now, you’ll one day grudge me bread.

    Ah! for thy sake my life-blood I could shed.

    Artemis, forgive!  Thy eremite breaks her vow.

    Love, and Love’s mother, claim a calf and cow.

    A woman I depart, my girlhood o’er.

    Be wife, be mother; but a girl no more.

      Thus interchanging whispered talk the pair,
    Their faces all aglow, long lingered there. 
    At length the hour arrived when they must part. 
    With downcast eyes, but sunshine in her heart,
    She went to tend her flock; while Daphnis ran
    Back to his herded bulls, a happy man.


The Distaff.

    Distaff, blithely whirling distaff, azure-eyed Athena’s gift
    To the sex the aim and object of whose lives is household thrift,
    Seek with me the gorgeous city raised by Neilus, where a plain
    Roof of pale-green rush o’er-arches Aphrodite’s hallowed fane. 
    Thither ask I Zeus to waft me, fain to see my old friend’s face,
    Nicias, o’er whose birth presided every passion-breathing Grace;
    Fain to meet his answering welcome; and anon deposit thee
    In his lady’s hands, thou marvel of laborious ivory. 
    Many a manly robe ye’ll fashion, much translucent maiden’s gear;
    Nay, should e’er the fleecy mothers twice within the selfsame year
    Yield their wool in yonder pasture, Theugenis of the dainty feet
    Would perform the double labour:  matron’s cares to her are sweet. 
    To an idler or a trifler I had verily been loth
    To resign thee, O my distaff, for the same land bred us both: 
    In the land Corinthian Archias built aforetime, thou hadst birth,
    In our island’s core and marrow, whence have sprung the kings of earth: 
    To the home I now transfer thee of a man who knows full well
    Every craft whereby men’s bodies dire diseases may repel: 
    There to live in sweet Miletus.  Lady of the Distaff she
    Shall be named, and oft reminded of her poet-friend by thee: 
    Men shall look on thee and murmur to each other, ’Lo! how small
    Was the gift, and yet how precious!  Friendship’s gifts are priceless



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