Meleager Μελεάγρος

Meleager of Gadara
Μελεάγρος

1st C. BCA

Translated by G. Theodoridis

© 2005

All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

From the Anthologia Graeca

57
To Eros

Eros!
If you keep burning my already overburnt soul,
It will fly away.

It, too, has wings of its own,
You little savage!

68.
Vows

Oh, holy Night
Oh, holy Lamp!
No one else was with us to witness our vows.
And he
Swore to love me
And I
Never to leave him.

But now!
Now he says that our vows were written in
Flowing water
And
You Lamp!
There!
You can see him in the folds of another!

96
To Timarion

Timarion!
Your kiss burns like lime and your eyes
Like fire!
You burn when you see me
And
You bite when you kiss me!

136
To the Cup Bearer (1)

Come, fill your cup and shout again and again,
“To Heliodora!”
Shout out again and again, this sweet name
And
Mix it with the unmixed wine!

And
Let me wear that garland again,
It is yesterday’s garland, I know
But
Let me wear this scent-dripping garland
To remember her!

Ah, but look!
Look how the rose is weeping!
This is the flower of lovers

And
It is weeping because it sees her!

Ah, Heliodora!
It sees her not in my arms but…
Elsewhere!

137
To the Cup Bearer (2)

Come, fill your cup!
Once for Heliodora Peitho,
Once for Heliodora Cypris
And
Once for Heliodora the sweet voiced Grace!

She is the one!
A goddess!

And
I mix her name with unmixed wine
Before I bring it to my lips!

139
To Zenophila

This melody you are striking on your harp,
Zenophila,
This tune by Pan of Arcady, is sweet.
Yes, by Pan!
You strike a sweet tune!

But where should I go to escape from you?
I am surrounded!
One love after another comes
And
I’m left with not even a moment to
Breath!

One minute it is your beauty that stirs my desire
Another, it is your song
And
Yet another it is your charm!
And –
Well what can I say, another time it is all three!

I am burning, Zenophila!
I am burning in fire!

140
The Muses, Peitho and the three Graces

The Muses, Zenophila,
Those lovers of sweet melodies, together with your plucking of the lyre
And
Peitho, together with your wise words
And
Eros, together with the beauty of your charioteers
Handed you the throne of Desires
Since the Three Graces gave you
Three charms.

141
I swear!

By Eros!
I’d rather let my ear hear a whisper from
Heliodora
Than the harp of Leto’s son,
Apollo!

143
Heliodora’s garland 1

The garland on Heliodora’s head is withering
But she shines brighter than the brightest garland.

151
Suckers of men’s blood!

Shrill, shameful mosquitoes!
Suckers of men’s blood!
Great beasts of the night that fly with two wings!
Let Zenophila sleep in peace, I beg you!
Let her sleep
And you can come here
And you can devour the flesh of my own
Limbs!

But what is the point of begging you?
No, it is pointless!
Even the heartless, wild beasts love
Snuggling in the warm folds of
Her tender body!

But I warn you, you evil creatures!
Enough of your audacity or you will feel
The force of jealous hands!

152
Mosquito leave me!

Mosquito leave me!
Be my rushing messenger and fly over to Zenophila’s ear
And
Whisper my message.
Say, “Zenophila, you sleep while he is awake and waiting for you!”
And, say, “sleepyhead, you care not for those who love you!”

Go!
Yes, go, now, lover of song!
Go but speak to her in quiet tones
I don’t want you to wake up her partner-in-bed
And rouse the pains of jealousy against me!

And
Dear Mosquito,
If you manage to bring my Zenophila here,
I’ll give you all that Hercules ever had:
A lion skin for your head and a club for your
Hand!

154
Yes, by Cypris!

Yes, by Cypris!
Tryphera enjoys swimming in the waves
And there,
Tryphera, the delicate, is truly delicate!

155
In my Heart

Eros has fashioned sweet-voiced Heliodora,
Soul of my soul,
Inside my heart.

156
Asclepias

Asclepias the lover of love, with her serene, blue eyes
Persuades all to make the
Voyage of love.

157
Heliodora’s finger nail

It was made by Eros
Grown by him!
Sharpened by him!

Its slightest touch pierces the heart!

160
Oh Demo!

Oh, Demo with your pale cheeks!
Someone has you lying next to him
Enjoying you,
Naked
While my heart sighs deeply!

And,
If your lover is some Jew, observer of the Sabbath,
Well, that is no great wonder.
Even on cold Sabbaths, love burns hot!

171
The Wine Cup

The wine cup enjoys the sweet delights of
Touching that ever-chattering
mouth of Zenophila, the lover of love!

It tells me so!

O, happy cup!
And,
O, how happy I’d be if only she put her lips to my lips
And
With one breathless gulp drank my soul.

174
You Sleep Zenophila!

Zenophila of the tender leaves, you sleep!
Oh, how I wish!
How I wish I were Sleep, himself
And
Creep, with no wings, beneath your lashes so that not even
Hypnos,
He who lulls the shining eyes of Zeus
Might visit you!
And
Then, I’d have you all to myself!

192
Heliodora’s garland 2

I shall knit white violets
And
I shall knit the soft narcissus with the myrtle berries
And
I shall knit the laughing lilies
And
I shall knit the sweet crocus
And
I shall knit the red hyacinths
And
Roses, the flower that lovers love
And then,
The garland on Heliodora’s brow
Shall scatter flowers upon her gorgeous curls,
The scented cascade of her curls!

193
Noisy Cicada

The cool dew drops made you drunk
Noisy Cicada
And so you sing your rustic song
And it fills the deserted hollows with whispers

Ah, there you are!
You are perched there,
At the uppermost leaves
And with your serrated legs
And your sunburnt skin
You shriek out a lyre’s tune!

But, my dear friend!
Sing something new,
Strike some playful melody that will please
The Nymphs of the forest,
In tune with Pan’s song.
Then, I can escape Eros
And manage to get some
Noon time sleep, as I lie here, under the shade of
This plane tree.

196
Zenophila’s Beauty

Zenophila’s beauty was a gift from
Eros.
Cypris gave her the love potions for her bed
And
The Graces gave her charm.

208
Boys

No,
My heart does not pine for boys.
What joy is there in mounting a man?
You give but you do not receive!
One hand should help another.

No,
I have a beautiful wife waiting for me back home.
Damn all the males with their… male grip!

2 Responses to Meleager Μελεάγρος

  1. S[tamatis] N. Philippides says:

    Very impressive this selection & translation of Menander’s poems but who is the translator?
    S.N. Philippides, Professor Emeritus, University of Crete

    • Stamatis, thank you for your kind words. The translator is I, George Theodoridis.
      However, there seems to be some small confusion about which page you are referring to. In any case, if it is Menander, I have written it directly below the title of the play.

      If it is Meleager, this page here, then it is written at the collection page https://bacchicstage.wordpress.com/lyric-poets/ where each poet is linked separately.
      However, I have just gone through each poet’s page and indicated this.

      Wonderful to hear from the University of Crete!

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