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Dulcia quandoque amara

Sweetness turns at times to bitterness


Matre procul licta paulým secesserat infans
Lydius[1], hunc dirae sed rapuistis apes.
Venerat hic ad vos placidas ratus esse volucres,
Cým nec ita immitis vipera saeva foret.
Quae datis ah dulci stimulos pro munere mellis,
Proh dolor, heu sine te gratia nulla datur.[2]

A Lydian babe had strayed some way off, leaving his mother at a distance, but you made away with him, you dreadful bees. He had come to you, thinking you harmless winged creatures, yet a merciless viper would not be as savage as you. Instead of the sweet gift of honey, ah me, you give stings. Ah pain, without you, alas, no delight is granted.


Lydius infans, id est, Amor Cupido in Ly-
natus (Lydos autem mortalium omnium
mollissimus & effoeminatissimos fuisse, refert
Leonicus, ex Clearcho lib. 3. cap. 95. de varia
historia) Cým paulÚ longius ŗ Venere Matre
eius secessisset, ad apes venit, quae, dum mella
Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[k2r p147] colligere vult, illum gravissimis ictibus inva-
dunt, ipseque fugiens pro dulci melle amaros
stimulos ad matrem revertens attulit. Doce-
mur vix unquam iucundi aliquid, absque dolo-
re sive molestia aliqua contingere, hinc vul-
go adagio dicitur, Ne quaere mollia ne dura
feras. apud Erasmum.


1.This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.548 , where a baby, called Hermonax, is stung to death. See also Anthologia graeca 9.302 for another epigram treating the same incident.

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