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FERE SIMILE EX THEOCRITO.[1]

Something more or less the same from Theocritus

Alveolis dum mella legit, percussit Amorem
Furacem mala apes, & summis spicula liquit
In digitis, tumido gemit at puer anxius ungue,
Et quatit errabundus humum, Venerique dolorem
Indicat, & graviter queritur qud apicula parvum
Ipsa inferre animal tam noxia vulnera possit.
Cui ridens Venus, hanc imitaris tu quoque dixit
Nate feram, qui das tot noxia vulnera parvus.[2]

While he was taking honey from the hives, a vicious bee stung thieving Amor, and left its sting in the end of his finger. The boy in distress cried out as his finger-end swelled up. He ran about, stamping his foot, showed his hurt to Venus, and complained bitterly that a little bee, that tiny creature, could inflict such grievous wounds. Venus smiled at him and said, “You are like this creature, my son; small as you are you deal many a grievous wound”.

Notes:

1. 3rd-century BC bucolic poet, who may or may not have wrriten the Idylls (19, The Honey Stealer), of which this is a fairly close translation, in dactylic hexameters, as in the Greek original.


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