καί νιν ὄμρροι, κ.τ.λ. The poet is thinking of Niobe's petrified form among the lonely mountain-crags ( Il. 24.614 “νῦν δέ που ἐν πέτρῃσιν, ἐν οὔρεσιν οἰοπόλοισιν, ι ἐν Σιπύλῳ”). ‘The rain and the snow never leave her, as she pines with grief’: i.e. she is amid the storms that visit snow-crowned Sipylus throughout the year. By these words the poet wishes to call up a general image of bleak and stormbeaten solitude. Niobe's own weeping is then described by τέγγει δ᾽, etc. Now, if we kept the MS. ὄμβρῳ, that dat. would go closely with τακομέναν: ‘as she melts, flows down, with rain’ (or ‘with water’), ‘the snow never leaves her.’ Thus τέγγει … δειράδας would be anticipated, and in a prosaic manner; viz., by words suggesting that the appearance of weeping is due to water trickling down the rock. This is the true reason for preferring ὄμβροι to ὄμβρῳ. It is no argument against “ὄμβρῳ” that “χιών τ᾽” would answer to “τέγγει θ᾽” (for “τε” irregularly placed, cp. O.T. 258 n.). With “ὄμβροι, θ᾽” could still follow “τέγγει”, but “δ᾽” is better.—For the constr. “ὄμβροι...χιών τ᾽ οὐ λείπει” (verb agreeing in number with nearest subject) cp. 1132 f.: O.C. 7 “στέργειν γὰρ αἱ πάθαι με χὡ χρόνος ξυνὼν ι μακρὸς διδάσκει” (n.). χιών is taken by Wecklein as=‘snowwater’ (Eiswasser). The only passage which seems to favour that sense is Eur. Tro. 1066 “Ἰδαῖα...νάπη ι χιόνι κατάρυτα ποταμίᾳ”, but there the adj. makes the difference: ‘snow carried down streams’ can be only ‘snow-water.’ In Andr. 215“Θρῄκην χιόνι τὴν κατάρρυτον” means merely, ‘on which snow falls thickly.’ Cp. Quintus Smyrnaeus 1. 293 “ὑπαὶ Σιπύλῳ νιφόεντι.” οὐδαμά: cp. 763.
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