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Fer simile ex Theocrito.[1]

Something more or less the same from Theocritus

XC.

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.

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”.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [N5r p201]

Schier auff die vorgeend fabel.

XC.

Wie Cupido hoeng fladen stal,
Ein pin hart in die hand in stach,
Seinr mueter klagt er den unfal,
Und wie das sey ein seltzam sach,
Das di klain thier so gro layd mach:
Sagt Venus mit lachendem mund,
Lieber sun, deiner klaynheyt nach
Machst du die leut vil schwerer wund.

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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DULCIA QUANDO-
que amara fieri.

Sweetness turns at times to bitterness

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [E5r]

Matre procul licta paulum secesserat infans,
Lydius[1], hunc dirae sed rapuistis apes.
Venerat hic ad vos placidas ratus esse volucres,
Cum nec ita imitis vipera saeva foret.
Que [=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.

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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