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Senex puellam amans.

An old man in love with a girl

Dum Sophocles, quamvis affecta aetate, puellam
A quaestu Archippen ad sua vota trahit,
Allicit & precio, tulit aegrè insana iuventus
Ob Zelum, & tali carmine utrunque notat
Noctua ut in tumulis, super utque cadavera bubo
Talis apud Sophoclem nostra puella sedet.[1]

When Sophocles, in spite of his advanced years, induced the courtesan [Aganippe] to fulfil his desires, winning her over by the reward he offered, Archippus [her lover, the comic poet] was filled with indignation. Mad with jealousy, he lampooned both of them with this verse: As a night owl perches on a tomb, as an eagle owl on corpses, so my girl sits with Sophocles.


Ein alter der ein jungs Meidlin bult.

Als Sophocles wiewol er alt[2]
War, nach eim jungen Meidlin stalt
Zog ein Archippen lockts mit Gold
Die gmein Metz das sie im wurd Hold
Die [=Der] junge Bursch das ubel müth
Auß inbrünstigem eyfer wüht
Machten [=Machte] von in beid diß gedicht
Mit solchem Reymen zugericht
Gleich wie auff den Grebern die Eul
Sitzt, und umb die todtn ir kurtzweil
Hat das wackerlin also jetzt
Bey Sophocle unser lieb sitzt.


1.  A story taken from Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 13.592b. Sophocles is the great tragic poet, of whom several such tales were told. He made Aganippe the beneficiary under his will. But Alciato (and so his translators) confuse Aganippe (the courtesan) with Archippus (the comic poet).

2.  The text seems to be corrupt, with confusion concerning singular and plural. Corrections are made on the basis of the Latin. The precise sense of ‘Wackerlin’ remains unclear.

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