Now, on this nautilus there is an epigram quoted of Callimachus of Cyrene, which runs thus:—
I was a shell, O Venus Zephyritis,1Posidippus also wrote this epigram on the same Venus which is worshipped in Zephyrium:—
Now I'm the pious offering of Selena,
The gentle nautilus. When balmy winds
Breathe soft along the sea, I hold my course,
Stretching my sails on their congenial yards.
Should calm, the placid goddess, still the waves,
I row myself along with nimble feet,
So that my name suits rightly with my acts.
Now have I fallen on the Iulian shore,
To be a pleasant sport to Arsinoe.
No more shall Halcyons' dew-besprinkled eggs,
My dainty meal, lie thick within my bed
As formerly they did, since here I lie.
But give to Cleinias's daughter worthy thanks;
For she does shape her conduct honestly,
And from Aeolian Smyrna doth she come.
Oh, all ye men who traffic on the streams,Ion the tragedian also mentions the polypus, in his Phœnix, saying,—
Or on the land who hold a safer way,
[p. 501] Worship this shrine of Philadelphus' wife,
Venus Arsinoe, whom Callicrates,
The naval leader, first did firmly place
On this most beautiful Zephyrian shore.
And she will on your pious voyage smile,
And amid storms will for her votaries
Smooth the vex'd surface of the wide-spread sea.
I hate the colour-changing polypus,
Clinging with bloodless feelers to the rocks.