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.

      My head aches.  What reck’st thou?  I sing no more: 
    E’en where I fell I’ll lie, until the wolves
    Rend me—­may that be honey in thy mouth!

IDYLL IV.

The Herdsmen.

BATTUS.  CORYDON.

    BATTUS. 
    Who owns these cattle, Corydon?  Philondas?  Prythee say.

    CORYDON. 
    No, AEgon:  and he gave them me to tend while he’s away.

    BATTUS. 
    Dost milk them in the gloaming, when none is nigh to see?

    CORYDON. 
    The old man brings the calves to suck, and keeps an eye on me.

    BATTUS. 
    And to what region then hath flown the cattle’s rightful lord?

    CORYDON. 
    Hast thou not heard?  With Milo he vanished Elis-ward.

    BATTUS. 
    How! was the wrestler’s oil e’er yet so much as seen by him?

    CORYDON. 
    Men say he rivals Heracles in lustiness of limb.

    BATTUS. 
    I’m Polydeuces’ match (or so my mother says) and more.

    CORYDON. 
    —­So off he started; with a spade, and of these ewes a score.

    BATTUS. 
    This Milo will be teaching wolves how they should raven next.

    CORYDON. 
    —­And by these bellowings his kine proclaim how sore they’re vexed.

    BATTUS. 
    Poor kine! they’ve found their master a sorry knave indeed.

    CORYDON. 
    They’re poor enough, I grant you:  they have not heart to feed.

    BATTUS. 
    Look at that heifer! sure there’s naught, save bare bones, left of her. 
    Pray, does she browse on dewdrops, as doth the grasshopper?

    CORYDON. 
    Not she, by heaven!  She pastures now by AEsarus’ glades,
    And handfuls fair I pluck her there of young and green grass-blades;
    Now bounds about Latymnus, that gathering-place of shades.

    BATTUS. 
    That bull again, the red one, my word but he is lean! 
    I wish the Sybarite burghers aye may offer to the queen
    Of heaven as pitiful a beast:  those burghers are so mean!

    CORYDON. 
    Yet to the Salt Lake’s edges I drive him, I can swear;
    Up Physcus, up Neaethus’ side—­he lacks not victual there,
    With dittany and endive and foxglove for his fare.

    BATTUS. 
    Well, well!  I pity AEgon.  His cattle, go they must
    To rack and ruin, all because vain-glory was his lust. 
    The pipe that erst he fashioned is doubtless scored with rust?

    CORYDON. 
    Nay, by the Nymphs!  That pipe he left to me, the self-same day
    He made for Pisa:  I am too a minstrel in my way: 
    Well the flute-part in ‘Pyrrhus’ and in ‘Glauca’ can I play. 
    I sing too ‘Here’s to Croton’ and ’Zacynthus O ‘tis fair,’
    And ’Eastward to

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