τῆνον μὲν περὶ παῖδα φίλοι κύνες ὠρύονται καὶ Νύμφαι κλαίουσιν Ὀρειάδες· ἁ δ’ Ἀφροδίτα 20λυσαμένα πλοκαμῖδας ἀνὰ δρυμὼς ἀλάληται πενθαλέα νήπλεκτος ἀσάνδαλος, αἱ δὲ βάτοι νιν ἐρχομέναν κείροντι καὶ ἱερὸν αἷμα δρέπονται· ὀξὺ δὲ κωκύοισα δι’ ἄγκεα μακρὰ φορεῖται Ἀσσύριον βοόωσα πόσιν, καὶ πολλὰ καλεῦσα. 25ἀμφὶ δέ νιν μέλαν αἷμα παρ’ ὀμφαλὸν ᾀωρεῖτο, στήθεα δ’ ἐκ μηρῶν φοινίσσετο, τοὶ δ’ ὑπὸ μαζοί χιόνεοι τὸ πάροιθεν Ἀδώνιδι πορφύροντο.
“αἰαῖ τὰν Κυθέρειαν,” ἐπαιάζουσιν Ἔρωτες.
ὤλεσε τὸν καλὸν ἄνδρα, σὺν ὤλεσεν ἱερὸν εἶδος. 30Κύπριδι μὲν καλὸν εἶδος ὅτε ζώεσκεν Ἄδωνις, κάτθανε δ’ ἁ μορφὰ σὺν Ἀδώνιδι. “τὰν Κύπριν αἰαῖ” ὤρεα πάντα λέγοντι, καὶ αἱ δρύες “αἲ τὸν Ἄδωνιν”· καὶ ποταμοὶ κλαίοντι τὰ πένθεα τᾶς Ἀφροδίτας, καὶ παγαὶ τὸν Ἄδωνιν ἐν ὤρεσι δακρύοντι,
- 18 ὠρύονται Hermann (ὠρύσαντο iam m): ὠδύραντο M
- 24 πολλὰ Hermann: παῖδα M
hounds howl and the mountain nymphs weep;3 but Aphrodite, her tresses loosed, roams grief-stricken among the thickets with her hair unbraided, barefoot;4 the brambles tear her as she goes and draw her sacred blood.5 Wailing loudly, she moves through the long glens, crying out for her Assyrian husband and calling him many times.6 But round his navel was floating the dark blood, and his chest grew red with blood from his thighs, and Adonis’ breasts, once snow-white, grew dark.7
“Woe for Cytherea,” wail the Loves in answer. She has lost her handsome lord, and with him she has lost her holy beauty. Cypris had beauty when Adonis was living, but her loveliness died with Adonis. “Woe for Cypris,” say all the hills, and the oaks say, “Woe for Adonis.”8 The rivers lament Aphrodite’s suffering, the springs in the hills are weeping for Adonis, from grief the flowers turn red,9 and
- 3The mountain nymphs of Cyprus, patronesses of the hunt, by whom, according to some accounts, Adonis was reared (cf. Ov. Met. 10.512–14).
- 4The ritual dishevelment of mourning.
- 5Her wounds correspond to those of Adonis (16); there is perhaps also an allusion to the self-laceration practiced by mourning women.
- 6Text uncertain. Other possibilities are “uttering the Assyrian cry, calling for her husband and boy” and “crying out for her Assyrian husband and calling him her boy.” But in this context “boy” seems odd.
- 7Adonis seems to be lying with his thigh higher than his head and chest, so that the blood flows from the wound over the upper part of his body. The pose is improbable, and the “floating” blood is a very strange expression. If the conjectures εἷμα and χειρῶν are adopted, the whole sentence can be made to refer to Aphrodite: “around her the dark robe floated at her navel, and her chest was made scarlet by her hands, and her breasts, snow-white before, grew crimson for Adonis.”
- 8The so-called pathetic fallacy: natural country sounds (echoing hills, rustling leaves, etc.) are taken to be made purposely and in sympathy with a human event.
- 9Or perhaps “turn brown,” withering in sympathy. Roses are specified at line 66, but not here.