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there is a regular and equable tenor in the thoughts as well as the language. The passions are tenderly and simply expressed: the complaints of love are drawn from the very bosom of nature; and the situations have peculiar beauty. But the soul of Theocritus was not tuned to sensibility. He had less feeling, though more judgement than Bion. From the turn and manner of his composition we may infer, that he generally trusts to his own stock of ideas, to his own powers of invention.
ΘΥΡΣΙΣ, Ἢ ΩΙΔΗ.
ΘΥΡΣΙΣ, ΠΟΙΜΗΝ, ΚΑΙ ΑΙΠΟΛΟΣ.
Αδύ τι τὸ ψιθύρισμα καὶ ὁ πίτυς, αἰπόλε, τήνα,
ΘΥΡΣΙΣ, ἢ ΩΙΔΗ. THYRSIS, or THE SONG. In this Idyl the poet relates the unhappy fate of Daphnis, who was considered as a hero among the Sicilian shepherds. The subject is introduced by a dialogue between Thyrsis and a goatherd.—This has ever been esteemed a beautiful poem, from the
time of the Roman imitator to the present day. Its characters seem to maintain a superior rank, in point of civility and a delicacy of sentiment pervades the whole, with scarcely any mixture of vulgarity. The situations of the scene are pleasingly shifted; and we no sooner commence an acquaintance with Theocritus, than we are presented with a delightful specimen of his talents in painting.
ΕΙΔΥΛΛΙΟΝ. This properly signifies a small Picture, or Representation : -- a short Poem. It is a diminu
tive of εἶδος.
1. Αδύ τι. This and the following verse have long exercised the ingenuity of the critics, whose various conjectures may be seen in Kiessling's note. Constr. with Valckenaër, Αἰπόλε, ἡδύ
τι ἐστι τὸ ψιθύρισμα, καὶ ἡ πίτυς ἐκείνη, ή μελίζεται πρὸς ταῖς πηγαῖς, Something sweet, ο goatherd, is the whisper, and sweet is the pine, which, &c. Reiske for &, in the second verse, reads å, and makes τὸ ψιθύρισμα the object of μελίζεται, thus: καὶ ἐκείνη ἡ πίτυς, ὦ αἰπόλε, ἡ πρὸς τοῖς πηγαῖς οὖσα, μελίζε ται ἡδύ τι τὸ ψιθύρισμα, καὶ σὺ, &ct Both this pine, &c. The former construction preserved in the ancien. Latin version of Eobanus Hessus : “ Adepol dulcis hic est vicinus strepitus auræ, Dulcis et hæc strepitu fontes prope consita pinus." Theocritus wrote in the Doric dialect, which very frequently puts a for η : thus, &, ἁδὺς, παγὰ, for ἧ, ἡδὺς, πηγή. Matth. Gr. Gr. § 10. The Dorians also said τῆνος, τήνα, τῆνο, for ἐκεῖνος, ἐκείνη, ἐκεῖνο, (Matth. Gr. Gr. f 150.), and ποτὶ for πρός. They substituted σδ for S, as in μελίσδεται (Matth. Gr. Gr. § 15.); for the present tense συρίζεις, συρίζει, they said συρίσδες, σύρισδε, or τυρίσδες, τύρισδε, (Matth. Gr. Gr. $15. $200. 2.); and for the infinitive συρίζειν they wrote συρίσδεν. Β.
Τυρίσδες· μετὰ Πᾶνα τὸ δεύτερον ἆθλον ἀποισῇ.
Αδιον, ὦ ποιμὰν, τὸ τεὸν μέλος, ἢ τὸ καταχὲς
4. Αἴκα. Doric for εἴκε, if perchance. Matth. Gr. Gr. § 14. The Doric κὰ for κè, or κὲν, i. e. ἂν, is always long. Comp. vs. 6. · Λαψῇ. Doric for ληψῇ. Matth. Gr. Gr. § 242.-5. 'Es Tè кαταῤῥεῖ. Literally, devolves to thee : “ ad te deffluit.” Thus Horace, Od. i. 28. 28. “Tibi defluat æquo a Jove.” Comp. Callimach. Fragm. 96. 'Es Tè is Doric for εἰς σέ. Matth. Gr. Gr. § 145. 4. 6. Κρῆς. Doric for κρέας. Valckenaër and D. Heinsius prefer the latter, in order to preserve the bucolic dactyl in the fourth place. ----Ἔστε κ' ἀμέλξῃς. Until you milk it. Some critics, supposing ἔστε, “ donec,” to be derived from ἕως, write ὥστε. The particle κè, before a vowel κèy, is used for av by the poets. See vs. 4. 'EOTE Ke together require a subjunctive mood. Comp. v. 22. vi.32.
7. Καταχές. Doric for κατηχὲς,
loud-sounding, resounding. This has been misunderstood by the old Latin translator, who renders it “ effusa aqua,” as if it came from καταχέω. Κατὰ in composition sometimes implies an excess. Reiske constructs this passage thus: τὸ σὸν μέλος καταλείβεται ἀπὸ τοῦ στόματος ἥδιον ἢ ἐκεῖνο τὸ κατηχὲς ὕδωρ ἀπὸ τῆς πέτρας καταλείβεται. Jacobs' arrangement is, perhaps, preferable : τὸ σὸν μέλος, ὦ ποιμὴν, ἥδιον ἢ ἐκεῖνο τὸ κατηχὲς ὕδωρ καταλείβεται ἀπὸ τῆς πέτρας, in place of the more usual ὃ καταλείβεται. See Matth. Gr. Gr. § 472. 4. who supplies ἐστίν. This seems to have been copied from Homer, Odyss. B. 17. Comp. Hesiod, Theog. 786. Virgil, Ecl. v. 45. seqq. 83. seqq. - 9. Μῶσαι. Doric for Μοῦσαι. The Dorians often put ω
So βωκόλος for βουκόλος, βῶς for Boûs, &c. See Matth. Gr. Gr. § 14. p.42.- Οἴΐδα. This is from olis, a poetical form of bis. See Matth. Gr. Gr. § 73. 2. § 80. 7. 10. Σακίταν. Doric for σηκίτην, stall-fed. Here it signifes well-fed. It is properly an epithet of any young animal, which, for want of its mother's milk, has been brought up in the house. Αἰ δέ κ' ἀρέσκῃ. For εἴκε δ ̓ ἀρέσκῃ. Comp. vs. 4. — 11. ̓Αξῇ. Thou shalt bear off as thy reward. Δῶρον or γέρας may be supplied.