Alcaeus 347

Alcaeus 347

Wet your whistle—have some wine! Soon Sirius will rise and shine;
the weather’s bad, and the sweltering is sweating every thirsty thing.

Leaf-shadowed, the cicada sings sweetly; from underneath his wings
he pours a ceaseless, high-pitched shimmer-music, while the blaze of
……..summer…

Now, while the bloom is on the thistle, women are most inclined to
……..wrestle
but men are drained by the dog days, their knees and heads baked in
……..the blaze

Alcaeus 347

τέγγε πλεύμονας οἴνῳ, τὸ γὰρ ἄστρον περιτέλλεται,
ἀ δ᾿ ὤρα χαλέπα, πάντα δὲ δίψαισ᾿ ὐπὰ καύματος,

ἄχει δ᾿ ἐκ πετάλων ἄδεα τέττιξ . . .
ἄνθει δὲ σκόλυμος· νῦν δὲ γύναικες μιαρώταται,

λέπτοι δ᾿ ἄνδρες, ἐπεὶ <δὴ> κεφάλαν καὶ γόνα Σείριος
ἄσδει

*Note: This poem is a remarkably close imitation of Hesiod, Works and Days 582 ff., though translated into Lesbian dialect and meter (trans. A.E. Stallings):

When thistle blooms, and loud Cicada rings
In a tree, and shrills from underneath his wings
Clear, ceaseless song, in toilsome summertime,
That’s when she-goats are fattest, wine is prime,
Women are lustiest, and men instead
Are at their weakest, parched in knees and head
By Sirius, and the heat’s made their skin dry.

Chris Childers

Chris Childers

Christopher Childers has poems, essays, and translations published or forthcoming at Kenyon Review, Yale Review, Parnassus, and elsewhere. He is at work on a translation of Latin and Greek Lyric Poetry from Archilochus to Martial for Penguin Classics.
Chris Childers

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Author: Chris Childers

Christopher Childers has poems, essays, and translations published or forthcoming at Kenyon Review, Yale Review, Parnassus, and elsewhere. He is at work on a translation of Latin and Greek Lyric Poetry from Archilochus to Martial for Penguin Classics.