XV. (13 lines) (7) (ll. 1-7) Let us betake us to the house of some man of great power, — one who bears great power and is greatly prosperous always. Open of yourselves, you doors, for mighty Wealth will enter in, and with Wealth comes jolly Mirth and gentle Peace. May all the corn-bins be full and the mass of dough always overflow the kneading-trough. Now (set before us) cheerful barley-pottage, full of sesame....
(ll. 8-10) Your son’s wife, driving to this house with strong-hoofed mules, shall dismount from her carriage to greet you; may she be shod with golden shoes as she stands weaving at the loom.
(ll. 11-13) I come, and I come yearly, like the swallow that perches light-footed in the fore-part of your house. But quickly bring....
XVI. (2 lines) (ll. 1-2) If you will give us anything (well). But if not, we will not wait, for we are not come here to dwell with you.
FISHERMAN: All that we caught we left behind, and all that we did not catch we carry home. (8)
HOMER: Ay, for of such fathers you are sprung as neither hold rich lands nor tend countless sheep.
(1) “The Epigrams” are preserved in the
of Homer”. Nos. III, XIII, and XVII are also found in the
“Contest of Homer and Hesiod”, and No. I is also extant at
the end of some MSS. of the “Homeric Hymns”.
(2) sc. from Smyrna, Homer’s reputed birth-place.
(3) The councillors at Cyme who refused to support Homer at the
(4) The `better fruit’ is apparently the iron smelted out in
fires of pine-wood.
(5) Hecate: cp. Hesiod, “Theogony”, l. 450.
(6) i.e. in protection.
(7) This song is called by pseudo-Herodotus EIRESIONE. The word
properly indicates a garland wound with wool which was worn
at harvest-festivals, but came to be applied first to the
harvest song and then to any begging song. The present is
akin the Swallow-Song (XELIDONISMA), sung at the beginning
of spring, and answered to the still surviving English May-
Day songs. Cp. Athenaeus, viii. 360 B.
(8) The lice which they caught in their clothes they left
behind, but carried home in their clothes those which they
could not catch.