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Greek Anthology.

DANAE.

Tossed on a black and troubled sea
The wind blew fiercely on the ark;note
Lone-drifting in her prison-barque,
Awe chilled the blood of Danaë.

Her pale cheek stained with trickling tears,
In closer clasp she pressed her son,
And said: “Alas! my darling one,
My heart is mastered by its fears.

“And yet thou slumberest sweetly there,
Because it is thy mother's breast;
In cheerless brass-bound dungeon blest
With sleep unshadowed by a care!

“Around us spreads the awful night,
Save when the silvery moonlight streams
Upon the waves in flickering gleams,
And sprinkles our sad cell with light.




  ― 191 ―
“The seething water rushes by,
Hoarse o'er the sea the cold winds rave;
But what to thee are blast and wave?
Thy clustering ringlets still are dry!

“Wrapt in thy little purple cloak,
Thou sleepest with that calm, bright face!
Could sorrow in thy heart find place,
Thou to my moans hadst, sure, awoke!

“But sleep; I bid thee, sleep, my child;
And sleep thou, too, wide weltering sea!
Sleep, too, the woes of Danaë—
Bouudless as ocean billows wild!

“O, Father Zeus! confound my foes,
And grant of thy great clemency
(Bold as thy servant's prayer may be)
My Perseus may avenge my woes?”

   —Simonides.

THE SWALLOW AND CICADA.

Chirping, thou hast seized the chirper,
Attic maiden,note honey-fed,
With the twittering cicada,
Twittering, to thy nest hast fled;
Thou the winged, him the winged,
Stranger he, and stranger thou,
Both glad children of the summer—
Surely thou wilt loose him now!
For 'tis wrong, and most unseemly,
That one little songster's cry,
By the beak of sister songstress
Sadly silenced, thus should die!

   —Evenus.

PHILÆNIS.

Why so angry, my Philænis? Wherefore rashly pull your hair?
How is this?—Your drooping eyelids trembling drops of crystal wear!
Surely, you've not seen your lover, faithless to your own sweet charms—
Perjured, infamous deceiver!—clasp a rival in his arms?
Tell me—I've a cure for sorrow—silent?—still with anguish wrung?
'Tis in vain you would dissemble—eyes speak louder than the tongue!

   —Mœcius.




  ― 192 ―

THIS WORLD'S WEALTH.

Mortal itself is mortals' wealth,
Our riches pass away;
Or we ourselves must pass from them,
E'en if our treasures stay!

   —Lucillius.

THE GARLAND.

Rhodoclea, I send you a garland of flowers,
The brightest yet dropped by the summer's bright hours;
My own hands wove in it the violet blue,
The rosebud, the wind-flower still wet with the dew,
The narcissus, the lily—that when they are tied
Around your dark locks, they may warn you of pride!
Like these fresh, sunny flow'rets, you now are in bloom,
But they fade—and you, also, must bow to their doom!

   Rufinus.

LOVE AMONG THE ROSES.

Whilst wreathing fragrant posies,
I found love among the roses,
And I caught him by the wings, and I dipped him in the wine;
Then, taking it, I drank it,
So my folly I may thank it,
For the way in which he tickles this troubled heart of mine!

   Julian, the Prefect.

THEODORIAS.

Her eyes, and her hair, and her glittering skin,
No pencil is able to trace;
When the bright-glancing sunbeams the artist can paint,
He may paint my sweet mistress's face!

   Paulus Silentiarius.

ON A STATUE OF VICTORY, AT ROME, THE WINGS OF WHICH HAD BEEN DESTROYED BY LIGHTNING.

No eye, O queenly Rome, shall thy setting glory see,
For Victory has lost her wings and cannot fly from thee!

ON A STATUE OF NIOBE.

My life into a rigid stone
Did the Immortals freeze:
The rigid stone again to life
Thaweth Praxiteles!




  ― 193 ―

HUMAN JOY.

Summer's darling, how briefly in beauty it blows!
You seek it—the thorn has supplanted the rose.

WORLD WEARY.

Hope and Fortune fare ye well!
No more I plough the sea;
Anchored, I leave you now to sport
With those who follow me.

“THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY.”

Whether at Athens thou depart, or die at Meroë,
The downward road is straight and plain. Why should it trouble thee
To die in loneliness upon a foreign shore?
From every home of man, the wide world o'er,
To Hades one dread wind blows evermore!

“THE BETTER LAND.”

Protè, thou art not dead—but in a happier land!
In the Islands of the Blest thou hast joined the tearless band:
Celestial are their banquets, and flowers for ever blow
On the bright plains Elysian—unvisited by woe.
No winter mars thy year, no sultry noon thy day,
And thou shalt murmur “I am sick”—oh, never more for aye!
Thou hungerest not, thou thirstest not—with calm and guiltless breast,
In Olympus's pure splendour thou shalt for ever rest!note

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