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FERE SIMILE EX THEOCRITO.[1]

Something more or less the same from Theocritus

Emblema 111.

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, quod 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.

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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EMBLEMA CI.

Dulcia quandoque amara fieri.

Sweetness turns at times to bitterness

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Matre procul licta, paulm secesserat infans
Lydius[1]: hunc dirae sed rapuistis apes.
Venerat hic ad vos placidas ratus esse volucres,
Cm 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.

Das CI.

S wirt offt sauwer.

Als der Lydisch Knab auff ein zeit
War gangn von seiner Mutter beyseit
Den habt ir scharpffen Binlein hert
Mit euwrn scharpffen Angeln versehrt
Er kam zu euch vermeinte ir
Werend freundtliche glinde Thier
So seit ir vil scherpffer gericht
Dann ein wild Schlang die mit Gifft sticht
Ach die ir fr die Gab so gut
De Hongs scharpff Angel geben thut
O leyden uber leiden schwer
On dich zu uns kompt kein freundt her.

Notes:

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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