Friday, March 03, 2017


Prayer for Peace

Theocritus, Idylls 16.88-97 (tr. Neil Hopkinson):
May all those towns utterly ravaged by the hands of the enemy be settled once more by their former citizens. May they cultivate fields that flourish; may countless thousands of sheep, fattened on their pastures, bleat over the plain; may oxen heading for their byres hasten on his way the man traveling at dusk; may the fallow land be made ready for sowing, while high in the trees the cicada, keeping watch over the shepherds in the heat of the day, chirps up in the branches; may spiders stretch their fine-spun webs over armor; and may the battle cry no longer exist even in name.

ἄστεα δὲ προτέροισι πάλιν ναίοιτο πολίταις,
δυσμενέων ὅσα χεῖρες ἐλωβήσαντο κατ' ἄκρας·
ἀγροὺς δ' ἐργάζοιντο τεθαλότας· αἱ δ' ἀνάριθμοι        90
μήλων χιλιάδες βοτάνᾳ διαπιανθεῖσαι
ἂμ πεδίον βληχῷντο, βόες δ' ἀγεληδὸν ἐς αὖλιν
ἐρχόμεναι σκνιφαῖον ἐπισπεύδοιεν ὁδίταν·
νειοὶ δ' ἐκπονέοιντο ποτὶ σπόρον, ἁνίκα τέττιξ
ποιμένας ἐνδίους πεφυλαγμένος ὑψόθι δένδρων        95
ἀχεῖ ἐν ἀκρεμόνεσσιν· ἀράχνια δ' εἰς ὅπλ' ἀράχναι
λεπτὰ διαστήσαιντο, βοᾶς δ' ἔτι μηδ' ὄνομ' εἴη.
A.S.F. Gow's commentary on these lines (with Google Chrome, click and then click again to enlarge):

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