Part 4 out of 6
APOLLO AND MARSYAS (1)
ALCAEUS OF MESSENE
No more through pine-clad Phrygia, as of old, shalt thou make melody,
uttering thy notes through the pierced reeds, nor in thy hands as
before shall the workmanship of Tritonian Athena flower forth,
nymph-born Satyr; for thy hands are bound tight in gyves, since being
mortal thou didst join immortal strife with Phoebus; and the flutes,
that cried as honey-sweet as his harp, gained thee from the contest no
crown but death.
APOLLO AND MARSYAS (2)
Thou hangest high where the winds lash thy wild body, O wretched one,
swinging from a shaggy pine; thou hangest high, for thou didst stand
up to strife against Phoebus, O Satyr, dweller on the cliff of
Celaenae; and we nymphs shall no longer as before hear the honey-
sounding cry of thy flute on the Phrygian hills.
GLAPHYRUS THE FLUTE-PLAYER
ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA
Phoebus said over clear-voiced Glaphyrus as he breathed desire through
the pierced lotus-pipes, "O Marsyas, thou didst tell false of thy
discovery, for this is he who carried off Athena's flutes out of
Phrygia; and if thou hadst blown then in such as his, Hyagnis would
not have wept that disastrous flute-strife by Maeander."
VIOL AND FLUTE
Wilt thou for the Muses' sake play me somewhat of sweet on thy twin
flutes? and I lifting the harp will begin to make music on the
strings; and Daphnis the neatherd will mingle enchantment with
tuneable breath of the wax-bound pipe; and thus standing nigh within
the fringed cavern mouth, let us rob sleep from Pan the lord of the
Eutychides, the writer of songs, is dead; flee, O you under earth!
Eutychides is coming with his odes; he left instructions to burn along
with him twelve lyres and twenty-five boxes of airs. Now Charon has
come upon you; whither may one retreat in future, since Eutychides
fills Hades too?
GRAMMAR, MUSIC, RHETORIC
Pluto turns away the dead rhetorician Marcus, saying, "Let the dog
Cerberus suffice us here; yet if thou needs must, declaim to Ixion and
Melito the song-writer, and Tityus; for I have no worse evil than
thee, till Rufus the critic comes to murder the language here."
I the reed was a useless plant; for out of me grew not figs nor apple
nor grape-cluster; but man consecrated me a daughter of Helicon,
piercing my delicate lips and making me the channel of a narrow
stream; and thenceforth, whenever I sip black drink, like one inspired
I speak all words with this voiceless mouth.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Simus son of Miccus, giving me to the Muses, asked for himself
learning, and they, like Glaucus, gave a great gift for a little one;
and I lean gaping up against this double letter of the Samian, a
tragic Dionysus, listening to the little boys; and they repeat /Holy
is the hair/, telling me my own dream.
THE POOR SCHOLAR
O mice, if you are come after bread, go to another cupboard (for we
live in a tiny cottage) where you will feed daintily on rich cheese
and dried raisins, and make an abundant supper off the scraps; but if
you sharpen your teeth again on my books and come in with your
graceless rioting, you shall howl for it.
THE HIGHER METAPHYSIC
That second Aristotle, Nicostratus, Plato's peer, splitter of the
straws of the sublimest philosophy, was asked about the soul as
follows: How may one rightly describe the soul, as mortal, or, on the
contrary, immortal? and should we speak of it as a body or
incorporeal? and is it to be placed among intelligible or sensible
objects, or compounded of both? So he read through the treatises of
the transcendentalists, and Aristotle's /de Anima/, and explored the
Platonic heights of the /Phaedo/, and wove into a single fabric the
whole exact truth on all its sides. Then wrapping his threadbare cloak
about him, and stroking down the end of his beard, he proffered the
solution:--If there exists at all a nature of the soul--for of this I
am not sure--it is certainly either mortal or immortal, of solid
nature or immaterial; however, when you cross Acheron, there you shall
know the certainty like Plato. And if you will, imitate young
Cleombrotus of Ambracia, and let your body drop from the roof; and you
may at once recognise your self apart from the body by merely getting
rid of the subject of your inquiry.
THE PHAEDO OF PLATO
If Plato did not write me, there were two Platos; I carry in me all
the flowers of Socratic talk. But Panaetius concluded me to be
spurious; yes, he who concluded that the soul was mortal, would
conclude me spurious as well.
CLEOMBROTUS OF AMBRACIA
Saying, "Farewell, O Sun," Cleombrotus of Ambracia leaped off a high
wall to Hades, having seen no evil worthy of death, but only having
read that one writing of Plato's on the soul.
THE DEAD SCHOLAR
One told me of thy fate, Heraclitus, and wrung me to tears, and I
remembered how often both of us let the sun sink as we talked; but
thou, methinks, O friend from Halicarnassus, art ashes long and long
ago; yet thy nightingale-notes live, whereon Hades the ravisher of all
things shall not lay his hand.
I hate the cyclic poem, nor do I delight in a road that carries many
hither and thither; I detest, too, one who ever goes girt with lovers,
and I drink not from the fountain; I loathe everything popular.
I know that I am mortal, and ephemeral; but when I scan the
multitudinous circling spirals of the stars, no longer do I touch
earth with my feet, but sit with Zeus himself, and take my fill of the
ambrosial food of gods.
THE PASTORAL POETS
The pastoral Muses, once scattered, now are all a single flock in a
ON A RELIEF OF EROS AND ANTEROS
Nemesis fashioned a winged Love contrary to winged Love, warding off
bow with bow, that he may be done by as he did; and, bold and fearless
before, he sheds tears, having tasted of the bitter arrows, and spits
thrice into his low-girt bosom. Ah, most wonderful! one will burn with
fire: Love has set Love aflame.
ON A LOVE BREAKING THE THUNDERBOLT
Lo, how winged Love breaks the winged thunderbolt, showing that he is
a fire more potent than fire.
ON A LOVE PLOUGHING
Laying down his torch and bow, soft Love took the rod of an ox-driver,
and wore a wallet over his shoulder; and coupling patient-necked bulls
under his yoke, sowed the wheat-bearing furrow of Demeter; and spoke,
looking up, to Zeus himself, "Fill thou the corn-lands, lest I put
thee, bull of Europa, under my plough."
ON A PAN PIPING
One might surely have clearly heard Pan piping, so did the sculptor
mingle breath with the form; but in despair at the sight of flying,
unstaying Echo, he renounced the pipe's unavailing sound.
ON A STATUE OF THE ARMED VENUS
Pallas said, seeing Cytherea armed, "O Cyprian, wilt thou that we go
so to judgment?" and she, laughing softly, "why should I lift a shield
in contest? if I conquer when naked, how will it be when I take arms?"
ON THE CNIDIAN VENUS OF PRAXITELES
The Cyprian said when she saw the Cyprian of Cnidus, "Alas where did
Praxiteles see me naked?"
ON A SLEEPING ARIADNE
Strangers, touch not the marble Ariadne, lest she even start up on the
quest of Theseus.
ON A NIOBE BY PRAXITELES
From life the gods made me a stone; and from stone again Praxiteles
wrought me into life.
ON A PICTURE OF A FAUN
Untouched, O young Satyr, does thy reed utter a sound, or why leaning
sideways dost thou put thine ear to the pipe? He laughs and is silent;
yet haply had he spoken a word, but was held in forgetfulness by
delight? for the wax did not hinder, but of his own will he welcomed
silence, with his whole mind turned intent on the pipe.
ON THE HEIFER OF MYRON
Ah thou wert not quick enough, Myron, in thy casting; but the bronze
grew solid before thou hadst cast in a soul.
ON A SLEEPING SATYR
This Satyr Diodorus engraved not, but laid to rest; your touch will
wake him; the silver is asleep.
THE LIMIT OF ART
Even though incredible to the hearer, I say this; for I affirm that
the clear limits of this art have been found under my hand, and the
mark is fixed fast that cannot be exceeded. But nothing among mortals
WORSHIP IN SPRING (1)
Now at her fruitful birth-tide the fair green field flowers out in
blowing roses; now on the boughs of the colonnaded cypresses the
cicala, mad with music, lulls the binder of sheaves; and the careful
mother-swallow, having fashioned houses under the eaves, gives
harbourage to her brood in the mud-plastered cells: and the sea
slumbers, with zephyr-wooing calm spread clear over the broad ship-
tracks, not breaking in squalls on the stern-posts, not vomiting foam
upon the beaches. O sailor, burn by the altars the glittering round of
a mullet or a cuttle-fish, or a vocal scarus, to Priapus, ruler of
ocean and giver of anchorage; and so go fearlessly on thy seafaring to
the bounds of the Ionian Sea.
WORSHIP IN SPRING (2)
Ocean lies purple in calm; for no gale whitens the fretted waves with
its ruffling breath, and no longer is the sea shattered round the
rocks and sucked back again down towards the deep. West winds breathe,
and the swallow titters over the straw-glued chamber that she has
built. Be of good cheer, O skilled in seafaring, whether thou sail to
the Syrtis or the Sicilian shingle: only by the altars of Priapus of
the Anchorage burn a scarus or ruddy wrasse.
ZEUS OF THE FAIR WIND
Let one call from the stern on Zeus the Fair Wind for guide on his
road, shaking out sail against the forestays; whether he runs to the
Dark Eddies, where Poseidon rolls his curling wave along the sands, or
whether he searches the backward passage down the Aegean sea-plain,
let him lay honey-cakes by this image, and so go his way; here Philon,
son of Antipater, set up the ever-gracious god for pledge of fair and
THE SACRED CITY
Beneath flowering Tmolus, by the stream of Maeonian Hermus, am I,
Sardis, capital city of the Lydians. I was the first who bore witness
for Zeus; for I would not betray the hidden child of our Rhea. I too
was nurse of Bromius, and saw him amid the thunder-flash shining with
broader radiance; and first on our slopes the golden-haired god
pressed the harvest of wine out of the breasts of the grape. All grace
has been given me, and many a time has many an age found me envied by
the happiest cities.
HERMES OF THE WAYS
Go and rest your limbs here for a little under the juniper, O
wayfarers, by Hermes, Guardian of the Way, not in crowds, but those of
you whose knees are tired with heavy toil and thirst after traversing
a long road; for there a breeze and a shady seat and the fountain
under the rock will lull your toil-wearied limbs; and having so
escaped the midday breath of the autumnal dogstar, as is right, honour
Hermes of the Ways.
I who inherit the tossing mountain-forests of steep Cyllene, stand
here guarding the pleasant playing fields, Hermes, to whom boys often
offer marjoram and hyacinth and fresh garlands of violets.
PAN OF THE SEA-CLIFF
Me, Pan, the fishermen placed upon this holy cliff, Pan of the
seashore, the watcher here over the fair anchorages of the harbour;
and I take care now of the baskets and again of the trawlers off this
shore. But sail thou by, O stranger, and in requital of this good
service of theirs I will send behind thee a gentle south wind.
THE SPIRIT OF THE SEA
Small to see, I, Priapus, inhabit this spit of shore, not much bigger
than a sea-gull, sharp-headed, footless, such an one as upon lonely
beaches might be carved by the sons of toiling fishermen. But if any
basket-finder or angler call me to succour, I rush fleeter than the
blast: likewise I see the creatures that run under water; and truly
the form of godhead is known from deeds, not from shape.
THE GUARDIAN OF THE CHASE
Whether thou goest on the hill with lime smeared over thy fowler's
reed, or whether thou killest hares, call on Pan; Pan shows the dog
the prints of the furry foot, Pan raises the stiff-jointed lime-twigs.
THE HUNTER GOD
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
Fair fall thy chase, O hunter of hares, and thou fowler who comest
pursuing the winged people beneath this double hill; and cry thou to
me, Pan, the guardian of the wood from my cliff; I join the chase with
both dogs and reeds.
Even me the little god of small things if thou call upon in due season
thou shalt find; but ask not for great things; since whatsoever a god
of the commons can give to a labouring man, of this I, Tycho, have
THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS
If thou pass by the hero (and he is called Philopregmon) who lies by
the cross-roads in front of Potidaea, tell him to what work thou
leadest thy feet; straightway will he, being by thee, make thy
SAVED BY FAITH
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
They call me the little one, and say I cannot go straight and fearless
on a prosperous voyage like ships that sail out to sea; and I deny it
not; I am a little boat, but to the sea all is equal; fortune, not
size, makes the difference. Let another have the advantage in rudders;
for some put their confidence in this and some in that, but may my
salvation be of God.
THE SERVICE OF GOD
Me Chelidon, priestess of Zeus, who knew well in old age how to make
offering on the altars of the immortals, happy in my children, free
from grief, the tomb holds; for with no shadow in their eyes the gods
saw my piety.
BEATI MUNDO CORDE
He who enters the incense-filled temple must be holy; and holiness is
to have a pure mind.
THE WATER OF PURITY
Hallowed in soul, O stranger, come even into the precinct of a pure
god, touching thyself with the virgin water; for the good a few drops
are set; but a wicked man the whole ocean cannot wash in its waters.
THE GREAT MYSTERIES
Though thy life be fixed in one seat, and thou sailest not the sea nor
treadest the roads on dry land, yet by all means go to Attica that
thou mayest see those great nights of the worship of Demeter; whereby
thou shalt possess thy soul without care among the living, and lighter
when thou must go to the place that awaiteth all.
THE GARDEN GOD
Call me not him who comes from Libanus, O stranger, who delights in
the talk of young men love-making by night; I am small and a rustic,
born of a neighbour nymph, and all my business is labour of the
garden; whence four garlands at the hands of the four Seasons crown me
from the beloved fruitful threshing-floor.
ALCAEUS OF MESSENE
Breathe music, O Pan that goest on the mountains, with thy sweet lips,
breathe delight into thy pastoral reed, pouring song from the musical
pipe, and make the melody sound in tune with the choral words; and
about thee to the pulse of the rhythm let the inspired foot of these
water-nymphs keep falling free.
THE ROADSIDE POOL
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
Drink not here, traveller, from this warm pool in the brook, full of
mud stirred by the sheep at pasture; but go a very little way over the
ridge where the heifers are grazing; for there by yonder pastoral
stone-pine thou wilt find bubbling through the fountained rock a
spring colder than northern snow.
THE MEADOW AT NOON
Here fling thyself down on the grassy meadow, O traveller, and rest
thy relaxed limbs from painful weariness; since here also, as thou
listenest to the cicalas' tune, the stone-pine trembling in the wafts
of west wind will lull thee, and the shepherd on the mountains piping
at noon nigh the spring under a copse of leafy plane: so escaping the
ardours of the autumnal dogstar thou wilt cross the height to-morrow;
trust this good counsel that Pan gives thee.
BENEATH THE PINE
Sit down by this high-foliaged voiceful pine that rustles her branches
beneath the western breezes, and beside my chattering waters Pan's
pipe shall bring drowsiness down on thy enchanted eyelids.
Come and sit under my stone-pine that murmurs so honey-sweet as it
bends to the soft western breeze; and lo this honey-dropping fountain,
where I bring sweet sleep playing on my lonely reeds.
THE PLANE-TREE ON HYMETTUS
Sit down, stranger, as thou passest by, under this shady plane, whose
leaves flutter in the soft breath of the west wind, where Nicagoras
consecrated me, the renowned Hermes son of Maia, protector of his
orchard-close and cattle.
THE GARDEN OF PAN
Let the shaggy cliff of the Dryads be silent, and the springs welling
from the rock, and the many-mingled bleating of the ewes; for Pan
himself makes music on his melodious pipe, running his supple lip over
the jointed reeds; and around him stand up to dance with glad feet the
water-nymphs and the nymphs of the oakwood.
THE FOUNTAIN OF LOVE
Here beneath the plane-trees, overborne by soft sleep, Love slumbered,
giving his torch to the Nymphs' keeping; and the Nymphs said one to
another, "Why do we delay? and would that with this we might have
quenched the fire in the heart of mortals." But now, the torch having
kindled even the waters, the amorous Nymphs pour hot water thence into
the bathing pool.
ON THE LAWN
Dear Pan, abide here, drawing the pipe over thy lips, for thou wilt
find Echo on these sunny greens.
THE SINGING STONE
Remember me the singing stone, thou who passest by Nisaea; for when
Alcathous was building his bastions, then Phoebus lifted on his
shoulder a stone for the house, and laid down on me his Delphic harp;
thenceforth I am lyre-voiced; strike me lightly with a little pebble,
and carry away witness of my boast.
THE WOODLAND WELL
I the ever-flowing Clear Fount gush forth for by-passing wayfarers
from the neighbouring dell; and everywhere I am bordered well with
planes and soft-bloomed laurels, and make coolness and shade to lie
in. Therefore pass me not by in summer; rest by me in quiet, ridding
thee of thirst and weariness.
ASLEEP IN THE WOOD
Thou sleepest on the leaf-strewn floor, Daphnis, resting thy weary
body; and the hunting-snakes are freshly set on the hills; and Pan
pursues thee, and Priapus who binds the yellow ivy on his lovely head,
passing side by side into the cave; but flee thou, flee, shaking off
the dropping drowsiness of slumber.
I, Hermes, stand here by the windy orchard in the cross-ways nigh the
grey sea-shore, giving rest on the way to wearied men; and the
fountain wells forth cold stainless water.
Tongueless Echo along this pastoral slope makes answering music to the
birds with repeating voice.
TO A BLACKBIRD SINGING
No longer now warble on the oak, no longer sing, O blackbird, sitting
on the topmost spray; this tree is thine enemy; hasten where the vine
rises in clustering shade of silvered leaves; on her bough rest the
sole of thy foot, around her sing and pour the shrill music of thy
mouth; for the oak carries mistletoe baleful to birds, and she the
grape-cluster; and the Wine-god cherishes singers.
UNDER THE OAK
Lofty-hung boughs of the tall oak, a shadowy height over men that take
shelter from the fierce heat, fair-foliaged, closer-roofing than
tiles, houses of wood-pigeons, houses of crickets, O noontide
branches, protect me likewise who lie beneath your tresses, fleeing
from the sun's rays.
THE RELEASE OF THE OX
The labouring ox, outworn with old age and labour of the furrow, Alcon
did not lead to the butchering knife, reverencing it for its works;
and astray in the deep meadow grass it rejoices with lowings over
freedom from the plough.
THE SWALLOW AND THE GRASSHOPPER
Attic maid, honey-fed, chatterer, snatchest thou and bearest the
chattering cricket for feast to thy unfledged young, thou chatterer
the chatterer, thou winged the winged, thou summer guest the summer
guest, and wilt not quickly throw it away? for it is not right nor
just that singers should perish by singers' mouths.
THE COMPLAINT OF THE CICALA
Why in merciless chase, shepherds, do you tear me the solitude-
haunting cricket from the dewy sprays, me the roadside nightingale of
the Nymphs, who at midday talk shrilly in the hills and the shady
dells? Lo, here is the thrust and the blackbird, lo here such flocks
of starlings, plunderers of the cornfield's riches; it is allowed to
seize the ravagers of your fruits: destroy them: why grudge me my
leaves and fresh dew?
THE LAMENT OF THE SWALLOW
Why all day long, hapless maiden daughter of Pandion, soundest thou
wailingly through thy twittering mouth? has longing come on thee for
thy maidenhead, that Tereus of Thrace ravished from thee by dreadful
THE SHEPHERD OF THE NYMPHS
Thyrsis the reveller, the shepherd of the Nymphs' sheep, Thyrsis who
pipes on the reed like Pan, having drunk at noon, sleeps under the
shady pine, and Love himself has taken his crook and watches the
THE SHRINE BY THE SEA (1)
Let us stand by the low shore of the spray-scattering deep, looking on
the precinct of Cypris of the Sea, and the fountain overshadowed with
poplars, from which the shrill kingfishers draw water with their
THE SHRINE BY THE SEA (2)
This is the Cyprians ground, since it was her pleasure ever to look
from land on the shining sea, that she may give fulfilment of their
voyage to sailors; and around the deep trembles, gazing on her bright
No longer dreading the rayless night-mist, sail towards me
confidently, O seafarers; for all wanderers I light my far-shining
torch, memorial of the labours of the Asclepiadae.
SPRING ON THE COAST (1)
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
Now is the season of sailing; for already the chattering swallow is
come, and the gracious west wind; the meadows flower, and the sea,
tossed up with waves and rough blasts, has sunk to silence. Weigh
thine anchors and unloose thine hawsers, O mariner, and sail with all
thy canvas set: this I Priapus of the harbour bid thee, O man, that
thou mayest sail forth to all thy trafficking.
SPRING ON THE COAST (2)
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
Now is the season for a ship to run through the gurgling water, and no
longer does the sea gloom, fretted with gusty squalls, and now the
swallow plasters her round houses under the eaves, and the soft
leafage laughs in the meadows. Therefore wind up your soaked cables, O
sailors, and weight your hidden anchors from the harbours, and stretch
the forestays to carry your well-woven sails. This I the son of
Bromius bid you, Priapus of the anchorage.
I do not wish to feast down in the city, Philotherus, but in the
country, delighting myself with the breath of the west wind;
sufficient couch for me is a strewing of boughs under my side, for at
hand is a bed of native willow and osier, the ancient garland of the
Carians; but let wine be brought, and the delightful lyre of the
Muses, that drinking at our will we may sing the renowned bride of
Zeus, lady of our island.
I am filled with waters and gardens and groves and vineyards, and the
joyousness of the bordering sea; and fisherman and farmer from
different sides stretch forth to me the pleasant gifts of sea and
land: and them who abide in me either a bird singing or the sweet cry
of the ferrymen lulls to rest.
THE HOUSE OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Righteousness has raised this house from the first foundation even to
the lofty roof; for Macedonius fashioned not his wealth by heaping up
from the possessions of others with plundering sword, nor has any poor
man here wept over his vain and profitless toil, being robbed of his
most just hire; and as rest from labour is kept inviolate by the just
man, so let the works of pious mortals endure.
THE GIRL'S CUP
Aniceteia wets her golden lip in me; but may I give her also the
draught of bridal.
THE FLOWER UNBLOWN
Not yet is thy summer unfolded from the bud, nor does the purple come
upon thy grape that throws out the first shoots of its maiden graces;
but already the young Loves are whetting their fleet arrows, Lysidice,
and the hidden fire is smouldering. Flee we, wretched lovers, ere yet
the shaft is on the string; I prophesy a mighty burning soon.
A ROSE IN WINTER
Roses were now bloomed in spring, but now in midwinter we have opened
our crimson cups, smiling in delight on this thy birthday morning,
that brings thee so nigh the bridal bed: better for us to be wreathed
on the brows of so fair a woman than wait for the spring sun.
GOODBYE TO CHILDHOOD
Her tambourines and pretty ball, and the net that confined her hair,
and her dolls and dolls' dresses, Timareta dedicates before her
marriage to Artemis of Limnae, a maiden to a maiden, as is fit; do
thou, daughter of Leto, laying thine hand over the girl Timareta,
preserve her purely in her purity.
THE WIFE'S PRAYER
ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA
Cythera of Bithynia dedicated me, the marble image of thy form, O
Cyprian, having vowed it: but do thou impart in return thy great grace
for this little one, as is thy wont; and concord with her husband
BRIDEGROOM AND BRIDE
To Persuasion and the Paphian, Hermophiles the neatherd, bridegroom of
flower-chapleted Eurynome, dedicates a cream-cheese and combs from his
hives; but accept for her the cheese, for me the honey.
THE BRIDE'S VIGIL
Never grow mould, O lamp, nor call up the rain, lest thou stop my
bridegroom in his coming; always thou art jealous of the Cyprian; yes
and when she betrothed Hero to Leander--O my heart, leave the rest
alone. Thou art the Fire-God's, and I believe that by vexing the
Cyprian thou flatterest thy master's pangs.
HEAVEN ON EARTH
This is not the common Cyprian; revere the goddess, and name her the
Heavenly, the dedication of holy Chrysogone in the house of Amphicles,
with whom she had children and life together; and ever it was better
with them year by year, who began with thy worship, O mistress; for
mortals who serve the gods are the better off themselves.
Fair-freighted sea-faring ships that sail the Strait of Helle, taking
the good north wind in your sails, if haply on the island shores of
Cos you see Phanion gazing on the sparkling sea, carry this message:
Fair bride, thy desire beings me, not a sailor but a wayfarer on my
feet. For if you say this, carrying good news, straitway will Zeus of
the Fair Weather likewise breathe into your canvas.
Again, O Ilithyia, come thou at Lycaenis' call, Lady of Birth, even
thus with happy issue of travail; whose offering now this is for a
girl; but afterwards may thy fragrant temple hold another for a boy.
Thou knowest, Asclepius, that thou hast received payment of the debt
that Aceson owed, having vowed it for his wife Demodice; yet if it be
forgotten, and thou demand thy wages, this tablet says it will give
FATHER AND MOTHER
Artemis, to thee the son of Cichesias dedicates his shoes, and
Themostodice the strait folds of her gown, because thou didst
graciously hold thy two hands over her in childbed, coming, O our
Lady, without thy bow. And do thou, O Artemis, grant yet to Leon to
see his infant child a sturdy-limbed boy.
CallirhoŰ dedicates to the Paphian garlands, to Pallas a tress of
hair, to Artemis her girdle; for she found a wooer to her heart, and
was given a stainless prime, and bore male children.
Be happy, children; whose family are you? and what gracious name is
given to so pretty things as you?--I am Nicanor, and my father is
Aepioretus, and my mother Hegeso, and I am a Macedonian born.--And I
am Phila, and this is my brother; and we both stand here fulfilling a
vow of our parents.
THE UNBROKEN HOME
Androtion built me, a burying-place for himself and his children and
wife, but as yet I am the tomb of no one; so likewise may I remain for
a long time; and if it must be, let me take to myself the eldest
THE BROKEN HOME
I wept the doom of my TheionoŰ, but borne up by hopes of her child I
wailed in lighter grief; and now a jealous fate has bereft me of the
child also; alas, babe, I am cozened even of thee, all that was left
me. Persephone, hear thou this at a father's lamentation; lay the babe
on the bosom of its mother who is gone.
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
Surely, methinks, when thou hadst set thy footprint, Aretemias, from
the boat upon Cocytus' shore, carrying in thy young hand thy baby just
dead, the fair Dorian women had compassion in Hades, inquiring of thy
fate; and thou, fretting thy cheeks with tears, didst utter that woful
word: O friends, having travailed of two children, I left one for my
husband Euphron, and the other I bring to the dead.
Gazing upon my husband as my last thread was spun, I praised the gods
of death, and I praised the gods of marriage, those that I left my
husband alive, and these that he was even such an one; but may he
remain, a father for our children.
Marathonis laid Nicopolis in this stone, wetting the marble coffin
with tears, but all to no avail; for what is there more than sorrow
for a man alone upon earth when his wife is gone?
Find no fault as thou passest by my monument, O wayfarer; not even in
death have I aught worthy of lamentation. I have left children's
children; I had joy of one wife, who grew old along with me; I made
marriage for three sons whose sons I often lulled asleep on my breast,
and never moaned over the sickness or the death of any: who, shedding
tears without sorrow over me, sent me to slumber the sweet sleep in
the country of the holy.
I saw Alexis at noon walking on the way, when summer was just cutting
the tresses of the cornfields; and double rays burned me; these of
Love from the boy's eyes, and those from the sun. But those night
allayed again, while these in dreams the phantom of a form kindled yet
higher; and Sleep, the releaser of toil for others, brought toil upon
me, fashioning the image of beauty in my soul, a breathing fire.
IN THE FIELD-PATH
Surely, O Cleonicus, the lovely Graces met thee going along the narrow
field-path, and clasped thee close with their rose-like hands, O boy,
and thou wert made all grace. Hail to thee from afar; but it is not
safe, O my dear, for the dry asphodel stalk to move too near the fire.
THE NEW LOVE
The Cyprian denies that she bore Love, seeing Antiochus among the
youths, another Desire; but O you who are young, cherish the new
Longing; for assuredly this boy is found a Love stronger than Love.
Pour in and say again, "Diocles"; nor does AcheloŘs touch the cups
consecrated to him; fair is the boy, O AcheloŘs, exceeding fair; and
if any one says no, let me be alone in my judgment of beauty.
THE FLOWER OF COS
Praxiteles the sculptor made a Parian image of Love, moulding the
Cyprian's son; but now Love, the most beautiful of all the gods,
imaging himself, has fashioned a breathing statue, Praxiteles, that
the one among mortals and the other in heaven may have all love-charms
in control, and at once on earth and among the immortals they may bear
the sceptres of Desire. Most happy the sacred city of the Meropes,
which nurtured as prince of her youth the god-born new Love.
THE SUN OF TYRE
Delicate, so help me Love, are the fosterlings of Tyre; but My´scus
blazes out and quenches them all as the sun the stars.
On thee, My´scus, the cables of my life are fastened; in thee is the
very breath of my soul, what is left of it; for by thine eyes, O boy,
that speak even to the deaf, and by thy shining brow, if thou ever
dost cast a clouded glance on me, I gaze on winter, and if thou
lookest joyously, sweet spring bursts into bloom.
LAUREL AND HYACINTH
O pastoral pipes, no longer sing of Daphnis on the mountains, to
pleasure Pan the lord of the goats; neither do you, O lyre
interpretess of Phoebus, any more chant Hyacinthus chapleted with
maiden laurel; for time was when Daphnis was delightful to the
mountain-nymphs, and Hyacinthus to thee; but now let Dion hold the
sceptre of Desire.
THE QUEST OF PAN
Nymphs, tell me true when I inquire if Daphnis passing by rested his
white kids here.--Yes, yes, piping Pan, and carved in the bark of
yonder poplar a letter to say to thee, "Pan, Pan, come to Malea, to
the Psophidian mount; I will be there."--Farewell, Nymphs, I go.
THE AUTUMN BOWER
Vine, that hastenest so to drop thy leaves to earth, fearest thou then
the evening setting of the Pleiad? abide for sweet sleep to fall on
Antileon beneath thee, giving all grace to beauty till then.
AN ASH IN THE FIRE
Now grey dawn is sweet; but sleepless in the doorway Damis swoons out
all that is left of his breath, unhappy, having but seen Heraclitus;
for he stood under the beams of his eyes as wax cast among the embers:
but arise, I pray thee, luckless Damis; even myself I wear Love's
wound and shed tears over thy tears.
FATE AND CHANGE
THE FLOWER OF YOUTH
Sweet-breathed Isias, though thy sleep be tenfold spice, awake and
take this garland in thy dear hands, which, blooming now, thou wilt
see withering at daybreak, the likeness of a maiden's prime.
THE MAIDEN'S POSY
I send thee, Rhodocleia, this garland, which myself have twined of
fair flowers beneath my hands; here is lily and rose-chalice and moist
anemone, and soft narcissus and dark-glowing violet; garlanding
thyself with these, cease to be high-minded; even as the garland thou
also dost flower and fall.
If thou boast in thy beauty, know that the rose too blooms, but
quickly being withered, is cast on the dunghill; for blossom and
beauty have the same time allotted to them, and both together envious
time withers away.
ROSE AND THORN
The rose is at her prime a little while; which once past, thou wilt
find when thou seekest no rose, but a thorn.
THE BIRD OF TIME
Thou remembered haply, thou rememberest when I said to thee that holy
word, "Opportunity is the fairest, opportunity the lightest-footed of
things; opportunity may not be overtaken by the swiftest bird in air."
Now lo! all thy flowers are shed on the ground.
THE END OF DESIRE
I who once was La´s, an arrow in all men's hearts, no longer La´s, am
plainly to all the Nemesis of years. Ay, by the Cyprian (and what is
the Cyprian now to me but an oath to swear by?) not La´s herself knows
If beauty grows old, impart thou of it before it be gone; and if it
abides, why fear to give away what thou dost keep?
DUST AND ASHES
Thou hoardest thy maidenhood; and to what profit? for when thou art
gone to Hades thou wilt not find a lover, O girl. Among the living are
the Cyprian's pleasures; but in Acheron, O maiden, we shall lie bones
"To-morrow I will look on thee"--but that never comes for us, while
the accustomed putting-off ever grows and grows. This is all thy grace
to my longing; and to others thou bearest other gifts, despising my
faithful service. "I will see thee at evening." And what is the
evening of a woman's life? old age, full of a million wrinkles.
THE CASKET OF PANDORA
I laugh as I look on the jar of Pandora, nor do I blame the woman, but
the wings of the Blessings themselves; for they flutter through the
sky over the abodes of all the earth, while they ought to have
descended on the ground. But the woman behind the lid, with cheeks
grown pallid, has lost the splendour of the beauties that she had, and
now our life has missed both ways, because she grows old in it, and
the jar is empty.
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
Now is autumn, Epicles, and out of the belt of Bootes the clear
splendour of Arcturus has risen; now the grape-clusters take thought
of the sickle, and men thatch their cottages against winter; but thou
hast neither warm fleecy cloak nor garment indoors, and thou wilt be
shrivelled up with cold and curse the star.
Thou saidst, by the Cyprian, what not even a god might, O greatly-
daring spirit; Theron did not appear fair to thee; to thee Theron did
not appear fair; nay, thou wouldst have it so: and thou wilt not quake
even before the flaming thunderbolt of Zeus. Wherefore lo! indignant
Nemesis hath set thee forth to see, who wert once so voluble, for an
example of rashness of tongue.
THE BLOODY WELL
I the Clear Fount (for the Nymphs gave this surname to me beyond all
other springs) since a robber slew men who were resting beside me and
washed his bloodstained hand in my holy waters, have turned that sweet
flow backward, and no longer gush out for wayfarers; for who any more
will call me the Clear?
A STORY OF THE SEA
ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA
Once on a time when a ship was shattered at sea, two men fell at
strife fighting for one plank. Antagoras struck away Pisistratus; one
could not blame him, for it was for his life; but Justice took
cognisance. The other swam ashore; but him a dog-fish seized; surely
the Avenger of the Fates rests not even in the watery deep.
I know that my hands are empty of wealth; but by the Graces, O
Menippus, tell me not my own dream; it hurts me to hear evermore this
bitter word: yes, my dear, this is the most unloving thing of all I
have borne from thee.
Thou wert loved when rich, Sosicrates, but being poor thou art loved
no longer; what magic has hunger! And she who before called thee spice
and darling Adonis, Menophila, now inquires thy name. Who and whence
of men art thou? where is thy city? Surely thou art dull in learning
this saying, that none is friend to him who has nothing.
Not of good-will has Fortune advanced thee; but that she may show her
omnipotence, even down to thee.
TIME THE CONQUEROR
Time carries all things; length of days knows how to change name and
shape and nature and fortune.
MEMNON AND ACHILLES
Know, O Thetis of the sea, that Memnon yet lives and cries aloud,
warmed by his mother's torch, in Egypt beneath Libyan brows, where the
running Nile severs fair-portalled Thebes; but Achilles, the insatiate
of battle, utters no voice either on the Trojan plain or in Thessaly.
ANTIPATER OF SIDON
Where is thine admired beauty, Dorian Corinth, where thy crown of
towers? where thy treasures of old, where the temples of the
immortals, where the halls and where the wives of the Sisyphids, and
the tens of thousands of thy people that were? for not even a trace, O
most distressful one, is left of thee, and war has swept up together
and clean devoured all; only we, the unravaged sea-nymphs, maidens of
Ocean, abide, halcyons wailing for thy woes.
ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA
Would I were yet blown about by ever-shifting gales, rather than fixed
for wandering Leto's childbed; I had not so bemoaned my desolation. Ah
miserable me, how many Greek ships sail by me, desert Delos, once so
worshipful: late, but terrible, is Hera's vengeance laid on me thus
for Leto's sake.
If thou art a Spartan born, O stranger, deride me not, for not to me
only has Fortune accomplished this; and if of Asia, mourn not, for
every city has bowed to the Dardanian sceptre of the Aeneadae. And
though the jealous sword of enemies has emptied out Gods' precincts
and walls and inhabitants, I am queen again; but do thou, O my child,
fearless Rome, lay the yoke of thy law over Greece.
Few of the native places of the heroes are in our eyes, and those yet
left rise little above the plain; and such art thou, O hapless
Mycenae, as I marked thee in passing by, more desolate than any hill-
pasture, a thing that goatherds point at; and an old man said, "Here
stood the Cyclopean city rich in gold."
Though I am but drifted desolate dust where once was Mycenae, though I
am more obscure to see than any chance rock, he who looks on the famed
city of Ilus, whose walls I trod down and emptied all the house of
Priam, will know thence how great my former strength was; and if old
age has done me outrage, I am content with Homer's testimony.
ANTIPATER OF THESSALONICA
City built upon Strymon and the broad Hellespont, grave of Edonian
Phyllis, Amphipolis, yet there remain left to thee the traces of the
temple of her of Aethopion and Brauron, and the water of the river so
often fought around; but thee, once the high strife of the sons of
Aegeus, we see like a torn rag of sea-purple on either shore.
O Lacedaemon, once unsubdued and untrodden, thou seest shadeless the
smoke of Olenian camp-fires on the Eurotas, and the birds building
their nests on the ground wail for thee, and the wolves to do not hear
Formerly the dead left their city living; but we living hold the
SED TERRAE GRAVIORA
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
Me, a hull that had measured such spaces of sea, fire consumed on the
land that cut her pines to make me. Ocean brought me safe to shore;
but I found her who bore me more treacherous than the sea.
YOUTH AND RICHES
I was young, but poor; now in old age I am rich, alas, alone of all
men pitiable in both, who then could enjoy when I had nothing, and now
have when I cannot enjoy.
THE VINE'S REVENGE
Though thou devour me down to the root, yet still will I bear so much
fruit as will serve to pour libation on thee, O goat, when thou art
A man finding gold left a halter; but he who had left the gold, not
finding it, knotted the halter he found.
TENANTS AT WILL
I was once the field of Achaemenides, now I am Menippus', and again I
shall pass from another to another; for the former thought once that
he owned me, and the latter thinks so now in his turn; and I belong to
no man at all, but to Fortune.
Hope, and thou Fortune, a long farewell; I have found the haven; there
is nothing more between me and you; make your sport of those who come
No more is Hope or Fortune my concern, nor for what remains do I reck
of your deceit; I have reached harbour. I am a poor man, but living in
Freedom's company I turn my face away from wealth the scorner of
BREAK OF DAY
Hope evermore steals away life's period, till the last morning cuts
short all those many businesses.
THE HUMAN COMEDY
Seek not on my pages Priam at the altars nor Medea's and Niobe's woes,
nor Itys in the hidden chambers, and the nightingales among the
leaves; for of all these things former poets wrote abundantly; but
mingling with the blithe Graces, sweet Love and the Wine-god; and
grave looks become not them.
FLOWER O' THE ROSE
You with the roses, you are fair as a rose; but what sell you?
yourself, or your roses, or both together?
At the Hermaea, Aphrodisius, while lifting six gallons of wine for us,
stumbled and dealt us great woe. "From wine also perished the
Centaur," and ah that we had too! but now it perished from us.
LEONIDAS OF TARENTUM
To the must-drinking Satyrs and to Bacchus, planter of the vine,
Heronax consecrated the first handfuls of his plantation, these three
casks from three vineyards, filled with the first flow of the wine;
from which we, having poured such libation as is meet to crimson
Bacchus and the Satyrs, will drink deeper than they.
SNOW IN SUMMER
With this once the sharp North Wind rushing from Thrace covered the
flanks of Olympus, and nipped the spirits of thinly-clad men; then it
was buried alive, clad in Pierian earth. Let a share of it be mingled
for me; for it is not seemly to bear a tepid draught to a friend.
A JUG OF WINE
Round-bellied, deftly-turned, one eared, long-throated, straight-
necked, bubbling in thy narrow mouth, blithe handmaiden of Bacchus and
the Muses and Cytherea, sweet of laughter, delightful ministress of
social banquets, why when I am sober art thou in liquor, and when I am
drunk, art sober again? Thou wrongest the good-fellowship of drinking.
THE EMPTY JAR
Xenophon the wine-bibber dedicates an empty jar to thee, Bacchus;
receive it graciously, for it is all he has.
I hold revel, regarding the golden choir of the stars at evening, nor
do I spurn the dances of others; but garlanding my hair with flowers
that drop their petals over me, I waken the melodious harp into
passion with musical hands; and doing thus I lead a well-ordered life,
for the order of the heavens too has its Lyre and Crown.
Mine be a mattress on the poop, and the awnings over it surrounding
with the blows of the spray, and the fire forcing its way out of the
hearth-stones, and a pot upon them with empty turmoil of bubbles; and
let me see the boy dressing the meat, and my table be a ship's plank
covered with a cloth; and a game of pitch and toss, and the
boatswain's whistle: the other day I had such fortune, for I love
All the ways of life are pleasant; in the market-place are goodly
companionships, and at home griefs are hidden; the country brings
pleasure, seafaring wealth, foreign lands knowledge. Marriages make a
united house, and the unmarried life is never anxious; a child is a
bulwark to his father; the childless are far from fears; youth knows
the gift of courage, white hairs of wisdom: therefore, taking courage,
live, and beget a family.
DUM VIVIMUS VIVAMUS
Six hours fit labour best: and those that follow, shown forth in
letters, say to mortals, "Live."
HOPE AND EXPERIENCE
Whoso has married once and again seeks a second wedding, is a
shipwrecked man who sails twice through a difficult gulf.
THE MARRIED MAN
If you boast high that you are not obedient to your wife's commands,
you talk idly, for you are not sprung of oak or rock, as the saying
is; and, as is the hard case with most or all of us, you too are in
woman's rule. But if you say, "I am not struck with a slipper, nor my
wife being unchaste have I to bear it and shut my eyes," I reply that
your bondage is lighter, in that you have sold yourself to a
reasonable and not to too hard a mistress.
AN UNGROUNDED SCANDAL
Some say, Nicylla, that you dye your hair; which is as black as can be
bought in the market.
THE POPULAR SINGER
The night-raven's song is deadly; but when Demophilus sings, the very
THE FAULTLESS DANCER
Snub-nosed Memphis danced Daphnis and Niobe; Daphne like a stock,
Niobe like a stone.
THE FORTUNATE PAINTER
Eutychus the portrait-painter got twenty sons, and never got one
likeness, even among his children.
SLOW AND SURE
Charmus ran for the three miles in Arcadia with five others;
surprising to say, he actually came in seventh. When there were only
six, perhaps you will say, how seventh? A friend of his went along in
his great-coat crying, "Keep it up, Charmus!" and so he arrives
seventh; and if only he had had five more friends, Zo´lus, he would
have come in twelfth.
MARCUS THE RUNNER
Marcus once saw midnight out in the armed men's race, so that the
race-course was all locked up, as the police all thought that he was
one of the stone men in armour who stand there in honour of victors.
Very well, it was opened next day, and then Marcus turned up, still
short of the goal by the whole course.
Little Hermogenes, when he lets anything fall on the ground, has to
drag it down to him with a hook at the end of a pole.
PHANTASMS OF THE LIVING
Lean Gaius yesterday breathed his very last breath, and left nothing
at all for burial, but having passed down into Hades just as he was in
life, flutters there the thinnest of the anatomies under earth; and
his kinsfolk lifted an empty bier on their shoulders, inscribing above
it, "This is Gaius' funeral."
A LABOUR OF HERCULES
Tiny Macron was found asleep one summer day by a mouse, who pulled him
by his tiny foot into its hole; but in the hole he strangled the mouse
with his naked hands and cried, "Father Zeus, thou hast a second
Small Erotion while playing was carried aloft by a gnat, and cried,
"What can I do, Father Zeus, if thou dost claim me?"
Fanning thin Artemidora in her sleep, Demetrius blew her clean out of
THE ATOMIC THEORY
Epicurus wrote that the whole universe consisted of atoms, thinking,
Alcimus, that the atom was the least of things. But if Diophantus had
lived then, he would have written, "consisted of Diophantus," who is
much more minute than even the atoms, or would have written that all
other things indeed consist of atoms, but the atoms themselves of him.
Borne up by a slight breeze, Chaeremon floated through the clear air,
far lighter than chaff, and probably would have gone spinning off
through ether, but that he caught his feet in a spider's web, and
dangled there on his back; there he hung five nights and days, and on
the sixth came down by a strand of the web.
GOD AND THE DOCTOR
Marcus the doctor called yesterday on the marble Zeus; though marble,
and though Zeus, his funeral is to-day.
THE PHYSICIAN AND THE ASTROLOGER
Diophantus the asrologer said that Hermogenes the physician had only
nine months to live; and he laughing replied, "what Cronus may do in
nine months, do you consider; but I can make short work with you." He
spoke, and reaching out, just touched him, and Diophantus, while
forbidding another to hope, gasped out his own life.
A DEADLY DREAM
Diophantus, having seen Hermogenes the physician in sleep, never awoke
again, though he wore an amulet.
SIMON THE OCULIST
If you have an enemy, Dionysius, call not down upon him Isis nor
Harpocrates, nor whatever god strikes men blind, but Simon; and you
will know what God and what Simon can do.
Agclaus killed Acestorides while operating; for, "Poor man," he said,
"he would have been lame for life."
THE WISE PROPHET
All the astrologers as from one mouth prophesied to my father that his
brother would reach a great old age; Hermocleides alone said he was
fated to die early; and he said so, when we were mourning over his
Some one came inquiring of the prophet Olympicus whether he should
sail to Rhodes, and how he should have a safe voyage; and the prophet
replied, "First have a new ship, and set sail not in winter but in
summer; for if you do this you will travel there and back safely,
unless a pirate captures you at sea."
THE ASTROLOGER'S FORECAST
Calligenes the farmer, when he had cast his seed into the land, came
to the house of Aristophenes the astrologer, and asked him to tell
whether he would have a prosperous summer and abundant plenty of corn.
And he, taking the counters and ranging them closely on the board, and
crooking his fingers, uttered his reply to Calligenes: "If the
cornfield gets sufficient rain, and does not breed a crop of flowering
weeds, and frost does not crack the furrows, nor hail flay the heads
of the springing blades, and the pricket does not devour the crop, and
it sees no other injury of weather or soil, I prophesy you a capital
summer, and you will cut the ears successfully: only fear the
A SCHOOL OF RHETORIC
All hail, seven pupils of Aristides the rhetorician, four walls and
A deaf man went to law with a deaf man, and the judge was a long way
deafer than both. The one claimed that the other owed him five months'
rent; and he replied that he had ground his corn by night; then the
judge, looking down on them, said, "Why quarrel? she is your mother;
keep her between you."
THE PATENT STOVE
You have bought a brass hot-water urn, Heliodorus, that is chillier
than the north wind about Thrace; do not blow, do not labour, you but
raise smoke in vain; it is a brass wine-cooler you have bought against
THE WOODEN HORSE
You have a Thessalian horse, Erasistratus, but the drugs of all
Thessaly cannot make him go; the real wooden horse, that if Trojans
and Greeks had all pulled together, would never have entered at the
Scaean gate; set it up as an offering to some god, if you take my
advice, and make gruel for your little children with its barley.
A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE
Antiochus once set eyes on Lysimachus' cushion, and Lysimachus never
set eyes on his cushion again.
CINYRAS THE CILICIAN
All Cilicians are bad men; among the Cilicians there is one good man,
Cinyras, and Cinyras is a Cilician.
A GENERATION OF VIPERS
Keep clear of a cobra, a toad, a viper, and the Laodiceans; also of a
mad dog, and of the Laodiceans once again.
Philo had a boat, the Salvation, but not Zeus himself, I believe, can
be safe in her; for she was salvation in name only, and those who got
on board her used either to go aground or to go underground.
THE MISER AND THE MOUSE
Asclepiades the miser saw a mouse in his house, and said, "What do you
want with me, my very dear mouse?" and the mouse, smiling sweetly,
replied, "Do not be afraid, my friend; we do not ask board from you,
THE FRUITS OF PHILOSOPHY
We saw at dinner the great wisdom of that sturdy beggar the Cynic with
the long beard; for at first he abstained from lupines and radishes,
saying that Virtue ought not to be a slave to the belly; but when he
saw a snowy womb dressed with sharp sauce before his eyes, which at
once stole away his sagacious intellect, he unexpectedly asked for it,
and ate of it heartily, observing that an entrÚe could not harm
You were not alone in keeping your hands off live things; we do so
too; who touches live food, Pythagoras? but we eat what has been
boiled and roasted and pickled, and there is no life in it then.
I see Nicon's hooked nose, Menippus; it is evident he is not far off
now; oh, he will be here, let us just wait; for at the most his nose
is not, I fancy, five stadia off him. Nay, here it is, you see,
stepping forward; if we stand on a high mound we shall catch sight of
him in person.
WHO SO PALE AND WAN, FOND LOVER
Drink, Asclepiades; why these tears? what ails thee? not of thee only
has the cruel Cyprian made her prey, nor for thee only bitter Love
whetted the arrows of his bow; why while yet alive liest thou in the
THE WORLD'S REVENGE
In a company where all were drunk, Acindynus must needs be sober; and
so he seemed himself the one drunk man there.
I was in love once; who has not been? I have revelled; who is
uninitiated in revels? nay, I was mad; at whose prompting but a god's?
Let them go; for now the silver hair is fast replacing the black, a
messenger of wisdom that comes with age. We too played when the time
of playing was; and now that it is no longer, we will turn to worthier