Monday, November 24, 2014


Praise of Melite

Greek Anthology 5.94 (by Rufinus; tr. W.R. Paton):
Thou hast Hera's eyes, Melite, and Athene's hands, the breasts of Aphrodite, and the feet of Thetis. Blessed is he who looks on thee, thrice blessed he who hears thee talk, a demigod he who kisses thee, and a god he who takes thee to wife.

ὄμματ᾽ ἔχεις Ἥρης, Μελίτη, τὰς χεῖρας Ἀθήνης,
    τοὺς μαζοὺς Παφίης, τὰ σφυρὰ τῆς Θέτιδος.
εὐδαίμων ὁ βλέπων σε· τρισόλβιος ὅστις ἀκούει·
    ἡμίθεος δ᾽ ὁ φιλῶν· ἀθάνατος δ᾽ ὁ γαμῶν.
τὰ σφυρὰ are ankles rather than feet: cf. εὔσφυρος, καλλίσφυρος, τανίσφυρος. Lines 3-4 recall Sappho, fragment 31.

It would be OK to substitute "honey" for Melite when you recite this to your girlfriend.

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