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With laughing lilies I will twine narcissus, and the sweet
Crocus shall in its yellow hue with purple hyacinth meet ;
And I will twine with all the rest, and all the rest above,
Queen of them all, the red red rose, the flower which lovers love.'
'The eyes of Juno, Meleté, are thine,
Minerva's hands, and Venus' breasts divine ;
While thy fair feet like Thetis' ankles shine.
Happy is he who sees thee; he who hears
Thy voice melodious, trebly blest appears ;
Who woos thee has a demi-god's delight,
And he who wins thee is immortal quite.'
Oh that I were some gentle air,
That when the heats of summer glow,
And lay thy panting bosom bare,
I might upon that bosom blow!
Oh that I were yon blushing rose,
Which even now thy hands have pressed,
That I might love in sweet repose,
Reclining on thy snowy breast !
Oh that I were a lily fair,
That, culled by fingers fairer still,
I might thy every movement share,
And on thy beauty gaze my fill !'
• Beauty on which no graces wait,
May please, but not retain;
Just as, without the barb, the bait
Floats useless on the main.' The fourth division includes ' Didactic' epigrams, which consist chiefly of moral precepts :
Still raise for good the supplicating voice,
But leave to Heaven the measure and the choice.'
Wise is the man, prepared for either end,
Who in due measure can both spare and spend.
• Toss'd on a sea of troubles, soul, my soul,
Thyself do thou control ;
And to the weapons of advancing foes
A stubborn breast oppose,
Undaunted 'mid the hostile might
Of squadrons burning for the fight.
Thine be no boasting when the victor's crown
Wins the deserved renown;
Thine no dejected sorrow when defeat
Would urge a base retreat ;
Rejoice in joyous things—nor overmuch
Let grief thy bosom touch
'Midst evil, and still bear in mind
How changeful are the ways of human-kind.'
‘Committing wrong, the chance may be
That you elude men's eyes ;
You never can elude the gods,
When wrong you e'en devise.'
'Father of flatterers, gold ; of pain and care begot,
A fear it is to have thee, and a pain to have thee not.'
•Swift kindnesses are best ; a long delay
In kindness, takes the kindness all away.' * I'll tell the names and sayings, and the places of their birth, Of the seven great ancient sages, so renowned on Grecian earth ; The Lindian Cleobulus said " The mean was still the best ;" The Spartan Chilo—“Know thyself,” a heaven-born phrase confessed ; Corinthian Periander taught— “ Our anger to command ;”. “ Too much of nothing ”Pittacus from Mytelene's strand; Athenian Solon this advised—“Look to the end of life ;' And Bias from Priené showed_“ Bad men are the most rife; Milesian Thales urged that—"None should e'er a surety be : Few were their words, but, if you look, you'll much in little see.'
The fifth in order are those of a 'Literary' and 'Artistic' character :
And thou, Corinna, whose bright numbers yield
A vivid image of Athene's shield,
Soft-sounding Nossis, Myrtis of sweet song ;
Work-women all, whose books will last full long.'
Wind, gentle evergreen, to form a shade
Around the tomb where Sophocles is laid.
Sweet ivy, lend thine aid, and interwine
With blushing roses, and the clustering vine.
Thus shall thy lasting leaves, with beauties hung,
Prove grateful emblems of the lays he sung.'
• Either Jove came to earth to show his form to thee,
Phidias, or thou to heaven hast gone the god to see.'
• Nemesis checks, with cubit-rule and bridle,
Immoderate deeds, and boastings rash and idle.'
“The Nemean monster, and the hydra dire
I quelled ; the bull, the boar, I saw expire
Under my hands; I seized the queenly zone,
And Diomede's fierce steeds I made my own.
I plucked the golden apples; Geryon slew ;
And what I could achieve Augéas knew ;
The hind I caught ; the vile birds ceased their flight;
Cerberus I upwards dragged, and gained Olympus' height.'
Wisely the artist has the end concealed,
Lest admiration should to horror yield.'
"Thymаreté, thy very self is there,
Pictured in all thy dignity and grace ;
Thy noble pride, thine all-commanding air,
Mingled with mildness in that lovely face ;
Shaking his tail, thy faithful dog draws near,
Deeming he gazes on his mistress dear.'
This satyr was not carved, but laid asleep ;
Nudge him, he'll wake in wrath ; so, quiet keep.'
Me the gods turned to stone, but turned in vain,
Praxiteles has made me live again.'
Witty and Satirical' is the title of the sixth division:• Cadmus am I, then grudge me not the boast that though I am a Phoenician born, I taught you Greeks your Alpha, Beta, Gamma.'
Yes, you may dye your hair, but not your age,
Nor smooth, alas, the wrinkles of your face ;
Yes, you may varnish o'er the tell-tale page,
And wear a mask for every vanished grace.
But there's an end ; no Hecuba, by aid
Of rouge and cerouse, is a Helen made.'
Of all life's plagues I recommend to no man
To hire as a domestic a deaf woman.
I've got one who my orders does not hear,
Mis-hears them rather, and keeps blundering near.
Thirsty and hot, I asked her for a drink ;
She bustled out, aud brought me back some ink.
Eating a good rump-steak, I called for mustard ;
Away she went, and whipped me up a custard.
I can't my voice raise higher and still higher,
As if I were a herald or town-crier.
'Twould better be if she were deaf outright ;
But anyhow, she quits my house this night.'
'A blockhead bit by Aleas put out the light,
And, chuckling, cried—now you can't see to bite.'
• Asclepiades, the miser, in his house,
Espied one day, with some surprise a mouse ;
Tell me, dear mouse, he cried, to what cause is it
I owe this pleasant but unlooked-for visit ?
The mouse said, smiling, fear not for your hoard,
I come, my friend, to lodge, and not to board.'
* A viper bit a Capadocian's hide ;
But 'twas the viper, not the man, that died.' The contents of the seventh and last division are of a miscellaneous kind :
*Deficient one in limbs, and one in eyes,
Each with the other's help his want supplies ;
The blind man lifts the lame man on his back,
And by the other's words directs his track,
Wholesome necessity this lesson taught,-
By mutual pity, mutual aid was brought.'
•The Bird of Phoebus, parched with thirst's dire pain,
A house-wife's pitcher spied for catching rain ;
He perched, loud croaking, on the brim, but no-
Too short his beak, the water much too low.
Thy power then, Phoebus, in the bird inspired
An artifice to gain what he desired ;
With gathered pebbles quickly to the brink
He raised the water's level, and could drink.'
• My gallant ship now nears my native shore,
To-morrow—and her stormy course is o'er;
To-morrow-when my lips these words had said,
A sea like hades, raving o'er my head,
Engulfed me, and destruction round me clung,
For this vain vaunting of a froward tongue.
Say not to-morrow; the tongue's slightest slip,
Nemesis watches ere it pass the lip.
• The old draught-ox, worn in the furrowed field,
Alcon to ruthless slaughter would not yield,
His toils revering ; in deep pasture now
He lows, and feels his freedom from the plough.'
• A roadside nut-tree planted, here I stand
A mark for every passing schoolboy's hand ;
My boughs and flourishing twigs all broke or bent,
Wounded by many a missile at me sent.
What boots it now that trees should fruitful be?
My very fruit brings this disgrace on me.'
* Fortune and hope farewell, I've gained the port ;
You've fooled me long-make others now your sport.'
All the foregoing extracts are from Lord Neaves' collection.