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AMOR FILIORUM.

Love of one’s children

Ante diem vernam boreali cana palumbes,
Frigore nidificat, praecoqua & ova fovet.
Mollius & pulli ut iaceant sibi vellicat alas,
Ques nuda hyberno deficit ipsa gelu.[1]
Ecquid Colchi pudet, vel te Procne improba mortem?
Cum volucris propriae prolis amore subit?[2]

Before the day of spring, the wood-pigeon, all white with winter snow, builds her nest and cherishes her premature eggs. To make her chicks lie more softly, she plucks her own wing-feathers, and stripped of them, she herself perishes from the wintry frost. Woman of Colchis, do you feel any shame? Or you, heartless Procne? - when a bird submits to death out of love for her own offspring.

Notes:

1. This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.95.

2. Both Medea (the woman of Colchis) and Procne killed their own children. They are the legendary infamous child-killers. See [A50a070] notes for Procne, [A34a097] notes for Medea.


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