Theognis, Elegiac Poems

LCL 258: 176-177

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Elegiac Poetry

ἀθανάτων κάλλιστον, ἐπὶ τροχοειδέι λίμνῃ, πᾶσα μὲν ἐπλήσθη Δῆλος ἀπειρεσίη ὀδμῆς ἀμβροσίης, ἐγέλασσε δὲ γαῖα πελώρη, 10γήθησεν δὲ βαθὺς πόντος ἁλὸς πολιῆς.


Ἄρτεμι θηροφόνη, θύγατερ Διός, ἣν Ἀγαμέμνων εἵσαθ᾿ ὅτ᾿ ἐς Τροίην ἔπλεε νηυσὶ θοῇς, εὐχομένῳ μοι κλῦθι, κακὰς δ᾿ ἀπὸ κῆρας ἄλαλκε· σοὶ μὲν τοῦτο, θεά, σμικρόν, ἐμοὶ δὲ μέγα.


15Μοῦσαι καὶ Χάριτες, κοῦραι Διός, αἵ ποτε Κάδμου ἐς γάμον ἐλθοῦσαι καλὸν ἀείσατ᾿ ἔπος, “ὅττι καλὸν φίλον ἐστί, τὸ δ᾿ οὐ καλὸν οὐ φίλον ἐστί”· τοῦτ᾿ ἔπος ἀθανάτων ἦλθε διὰ στομάτων.


Κύρνε, σοφιζομένῳ μὲν ἐμοὶ σφρηγὶς ἐπικείσθω 20τοῖσδ᾿ ἔπεσιν· λήσει δ᾿ οὔποτε κλεπτόμενα,

  • 12θοαῖς v.l.
  • 12θεᾶ (cum rasura) μικρὸν Α, θεὸς μικρὸν codd. Arist.


the palm-tree with her slender arms beside the circular lake,1 all Delos was filled from end to end with an ambrosial aroma, the vast earth beamed, and the deep expanse of the white-capped sea rejoiced.


Artemis, slayer of wild beasts, daughter of Zeus, for whom Agamemnon set up a temple1 when he was preparing to sail on his swift ships to Troy, give ear to my prayer and ward off the evil death-spirits. For you, goddess, this is a small thing, but for me it is critical.2


Muses and Graces, daughters of Zeus, who came once to the wedding of Cadmus1 and sang the lovely verse, “What is beautiful is loved, what is not beautiful is not loved.” This is the verse that went through your immortal lips.


For me, a skilled and wise poet, let a seal,2 Cyrnus,3 be placed on these verses. Their theft will never pass

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theognis-elegiac_poems.1999