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Dulcia quandoque amara fieri.

Sweetness turns at times to bitterness


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

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.


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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