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7. Hermes. Daphnis was the son of Hermes, hence the latter addresses him as “my child.” Hermes was especially worshipped by the shepherds, whose patron he was, and he is often mentioned in connection with Pan and the Muses.

8. all asked what harm had caused him so much pain. Compare this passage with Milton's Lycidas, lines 91, 92; also with Pope's Pastoral iii. :

"Pan came and asked what magic caused my smart."

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Theocritus represents Hermes, the Shepherds, Pan, Priapus, and Cypris as bewailing the misfortunes of Daphnis. Moschus (see page 40) introduces Apollo, the Satyrs, the Priapi, the Panes, and Echo as mourning for Bion; Milton (see page 82) speaks of Neptune, Camus, and St. Peter in connection with the sorrow for Lycidas; Shelley (see page 119) introduces Dreams, Desires, Adorations, Destinies, Phantasies, Sorrow, Sighs, and Pleasure among the mourners for Adonais. 9. Priapus. A god of the gardens, of flocks, of bees, and of fruitful

Pausanias says: “ Priapus is honored elsewhere by those who keep sheep and goats or stocks of bees; but the Lampsakenes regard him more than any other of the gods, calling him the son of Dionysos and Aphrodite.” See Virgil, Eclogue vii.: “ “A pail of milk and these cakes, Priapus, are enough for thee to expect. Thou art the keeper of a poor, ill-tended garden.”

10. Cypris. Hesiod ( Theog. 188 seq.) says that when Aphrodite, the goddess of love, sprang into life from the foam of the sea, she first approached the island of Cythera, and then proceeding onward, finally landed upon Cyprus. Hence she is sometimes called Cypris, or the Cyprian, and sometimes Cytherea.

11. bend love to a fall. The original Greek expression is a term used in describing wrestling matches, and means to master, to overthrow.

12. But get thee to Mount Ida. By a sudden breaking off and turn of expression — called aposiopesis — Daphnis here taunts Aphrodite by bringing to remembrance her intrigue with Anchises on Mount Ida. For an example of the similar use of this figure, see Exodus xxxii. 32; also Virgil, Æneid, i. 135: “Dare you, winds, without my sovereign leave to embroil heaven and earth, and raise such mountains ? Whom I – But first it is right to assuage the tumultuous waves.”

13. Adonis. For a brief version of the story of Adonis, see page 29 of this volume. Observe Daphnis's taunting manner.

14. For a description of the fight with Diomed, see Homer's Iliad, v. 336: “Now Tydeides (Diomed) had made onslaught with pitiless weapon on the Cyprian, knowing how she was a coward goddess, and none of those

that have mastery in battle of the warriors, - no Athene she nor Enyo, waster of cities. And over her Diomed of the loud war-cry shouted afar: ‘Refrain thee, thou daughter of Zeus, from war and fighting. Is it not enough that thou beguilest feeble women? But if in battle thou wilt mingle, verily I deem that thou shalt shudder at the name of battle if thou hear it even from afar.'”

15. Arethusa. The Nymph Arethusa, being pursued by the rivergod Alpheus, was changed into the fountain of Arethusa in the island of Ortygia, near the Sicilian coast. She was sometimes reckoned as a Nymph of Sicily, and as the special patron of pastoral poetry. Virgil, Eclogue x. I, invokes her aid: “Grant unto me, 0 Arethusa, this last essay.” See Milton, Lycidas, line 84; also Shelley's beautiful poem, Arethusa.

16. Thymbris, a mountain in Sicily.

17. Lycæus, a lofty mountain in Arcadia, the birthplace of Pan and one of his chief sanctuaries.

18. Mænalus, a mountain in Arcadia, the favorite haunt of Pan. It was covered with pine-trees. See Virgil, Eclogue viii. : “Mænalus always has a vocal grove and shaking pines; he ever hears the lover of shepherds, and Pan, the first who suffered not the reeds to be neglected.” 19. Helice was a city of Achaia, swallowed up by an earthquake in

Reference is made here most probably to some other locality of the same name, perhaps in Arcadia, as indicated by the close connection of the thought with Lycaon.

20. Lycaon, king of Arcadia. For his impiety he, with all his sons except Nyctimus, the youngest, was slain with lightning; or, according to other stories, they were changed to wolves (Gr. lukos, a wolf). Among the pastoral poets tombs are often referred to as prominent landmarks. 21. dragged by Love. See Pope's Ode on St. Cecilia's Day :

“Love, strong as death, the poet led
To the pale nations of the dead."

373 B.C.


Imitated by Pope, Pastoral iii. :

"Let opening roses knotted oaks adorn,

And liquid amber drop from every thorn." See Luke vi. 44.

23. See note 34, on Lycidas, page 90.

24. The stream of Acheron, which the shades of the dead must cross before entering Hades.

25. in the days to come. See the closing lines in Adonis, “Thou must wail again next year.” And in Lycidas, To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new.”

“There can be no doubt that the bucolic vein was early and strongly developed among Sicilian shepherds. The use of the shepherd's pipe and of responsive song was early developed in the country, and from the oldest time in some peculiar relation to the shepherd life in the mountains of Arcadia — worshipping the same god, Pan, honoring the same traditions, and pursuing the same habits. It even appears to me that in the great days of Gelon and Hieron there was a considerable emigration from Arcadia to Sicily, for we know that their mercenary armies were recruited from Arcadia, and doubtless the veterans were better rewarded with upland pastures in rich Sicily than by returning to their harsh and wintry home. But the Arcadian music found itself already at home in a country where the legends of the shepherd Daphnis were older than Stesichorus, and had been raised by him into classical literature. According to various authorities, Daphnis was brought up in a grove of laurels, and being an accomplished singer, and taught by Pan to play on the pipe, he became the companion of Artemis in her hunting, and delighted her with his music. His tragic end, which is connected with his love for a nymph and his faithlessness, was variously told, and these versions were the favorite subject of pastoral lays, which were attached to the worship of Artemis throughout Sicily, and celebrated in musical contests at her feasts in Syracuse, where shepherds sang alternately in what was called Priapean verse. ... The shepherds of Theocritus are not pure and innocent beings, living in a garden of Eden or an imaginary Arcadia, free from sin and care. They are men of like passion as we are, gross and mean enough for ordinary life. But though artificially painted by a literary townsman, they are real shepherds, living in a real country, varying in culture and refinement, but all speaking human sentiments without philosophy and artifice. . .. It were unjust to deny Theocritus the noble position he deserves among the great and matchless masters of Greek poetry, though to him the Muse came last, “as to one born out of due season.'” — Mahaffy.







I. An English Prose Version by Rev. 7. Banks
II. An English Metrical Version by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The oldest of love stories : The Sun looked down and smiled upon the Earth. And she beholaing him in his beauty, put on her many-hued garments and joyfully claimed him as her own. Then the Loves danced at their betrothal, and the Father of all blessed their union. And in fields and forests, in upland glades and lowland meadows, their nuptial song was sung; and life and gladness, youth and beauty, sprang everywhere into being. But, as the Seasons passed, the unwilling Sun was wooed by envious Darkness, his light was obscured ly clouds, his glory was dimmed, his beauty was shrouded with shade. On the wooded hill-tops he lingered and languished, loath to leave his lovely bride. But at length the queen of the shadow-land prevailed, and carried him away to her gloomy abode. Earth lost her lovely lord and with him her matchless beauty. Woe, woe,the groves lamented; and the oak trees in the valley shuddered for grief. The rivulets ceased their laughter, and the mountain brooks stood still.

The leaves of the forest flushed red in their anguish, and in every field and wooded dell Earth wailed piteously a wild dirge for her lover. Then, touched at the sight of the universal sorrow, the All-father decreed that after six months had passed, the Sun should return to his bride, and, renewing his youth, should again gladilen the Earth with his caresses. Six months in every twelve he should smile upon her; six months in every twelve he should abide in the land of shadows.

The Sun is Adonis; the Earth is Venus, sometimes called Cytherea ; the queen of the shadow-land is stern Persephone, the maiden of Hades. While hunting in the forest, Adonis is slain by a cruel beast a fierce wild-boar. Persephone carries him away to the realms of death.

Venus wails for Adonis; the Loves join in the lament.

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