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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Idyl VII.
The Song of Lycidas
By Theocritus (fl. Third Century B.C.)
Translation of Andrew Lang

FAIR voyaging befall Ageanax to Mitylene, both when the Kids are westering, and the south wind the wet waves chases, and when Orion holds his feet above the Ocean! Fair voyaging betide him, if he saves Lycidas from the fire of Aphrodite; for hot is the love that consumes me.  1
  The halcyons will lull the waves, and lull the deep, and the south wind, and the east, that stirs the sea-weeds on the farthest shores,—the halcyons that are dearest to the green-haired mermaids, of all the birds that take their prey from the salt sea. Let all things smile on Ageanax to Mitylene sailing, and may he come to a friendly haven. And I, on that day, will go crowned with anise, or with a rosy wreath, or a garland of white violets; and the fine wine of Ptelea I will dip from the bowl as I lie by the fire, while one shall roast beans for me in the embers. And elbow-deep shall the flowery bed be thickly strown, with fragrant leaves and with asphodel, and with curled parsley; and softly will I drink, toasting Ageanax with lips clinging fast to the cup, and draining it even to the lees.  2
  Two shepherds shall be my flute-players,—one from Acharnæ, one from Lycope; and hard by, Tityrus shall sing how the herdsman Daphnis once loved a strange maiden, and how on the hill he wandered, and how the oak-trees sang his dirge,—the oaks that grow by the banks of the river Himeras,—while he was wasting like any snow under high Hæmus, or Athos, or Rhodope, or Caucasus at the world’s end.  3
  And he shall sing how, once upon a time, the great chest prisoned the living goatherd, by his lord’s infatuate and evil will; and how the blunt-faced bees, as they came up from the meadow to the fragrant cedar chest, fed him with food of tender flowers, because the Muse still dropped sweet nectar on his lips.  4
  O blessed Comatas, surely these joyful things befell thee, and thou wast inclosed within the chest, and feeding on the honeycomb through the springtime didst thou serve out thy bondage. Ah, would that in my days thou hadst been numbered with the living! how gladly on the hills would I have herded thy pretty she-goats, and listened to thy voice, whilst thou, under oaks or pine-trees lying, didst sweetly sing, divine Comatas!  5

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