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On the authenticity of this see Introd. § 3. The poem was only discovered in 1864 by Ziegler, and first published by Bergk in 1865. Yet the MS. in which alone it is preserved was thought to have been thoroughly collated more than once. The metre is as in xxviii. The person addressed is in all probability the same as in Id. xxix.

τῶ χαλεπῶ cf. ii. 95; and for the genitive iv. 40.

[2] τετορταῖος, 'like a quartan-fever'; ὡς is omitted as in xiii. 24, etc. The point of the simile is explained by l. 5. The fever comes and goes, and so his love as yet holds him for a day and lets him go, but soon will give him no rest.

[3] 3, 4 The text is here too corrupt to admit of convincing emendation; and no one's proposal has yet been accepted by another. I can hardly hope for better success.

κάλω μὲν μετρίως of the MS. is hardly defensible. It would not mean 'fair in due proportion,' but 'fair enough,' somewhat disparagingly, and this is not a place for disparagement. Both sides of the antithesis being doubtful we can hardly expect to reach certainty in restoration; but granted that μᾶκος μὲν μετρίω γ᾽ is the sense intended, if not the actual words, the following clause as given in the text makes good sense. 'Not very tall is he, but all his height above the earth, all this is gracefulness.' Cf. A. Pal. xii. 93: “      ὅστε καθ᾽ ὕψος
οὐ μέγας οὐρανίη δ᾽ ἀμφιτέθηλε χάρις:

” and comically in Arist. Acharn. 909: “ Β. μικκός γα μᾶκος οὗτος. Δ. ἀλλ᾽ ἅπαν κακόν.

περρέχει = ὑπερρέχει: cf. xxix. 25.

τῶ πέδα, 'with the height he has.' πεδά μετά gives the accompanying conditions; cf. Xen. Symp. ii. 15καλὸς παῖς ὢν ὅμως σὺν τοῖς σχήμασιν ἔτι καλλίων φαίνεται.” (For the conjectures of others, see Ziegler and Hiller; that of Maehly is the most attractive, but fails to make a good antithesis.)

[5] ταῖς sc. ἡμέραις: a strange ellipse and not found elsewhere, the nearest being Theophr. Char. 30 ταῖς τετάρταις, 'on the fourth of each month.' The end of the line is however very uncertain. ταῖς δ᾽ ἔαι (= ἐᾷ) ἁμέραις (Maehly).

[6] τάχα, 'but soon there will be no rest, not enough for sleep.'

ὅσονἐπιτύχην consecutive = τοσοῦτον ὥστε ἐπιτυχεῖν. Soph. O. T. 1191 τοσοῦτον ὅσον δοκεῖν: Thucyd. i. 2 ὅσον ἀποζῆν: A. Pal. v. 138 οὐ δ᾽ ὅσον ἀμπνεῦσαι βαιὸν ἐῶσι χρόνον.

[7] ἐχθές, 'for yesterday in passing he stole a glance at me sidelong, ashamed to look me in the face, and flushed red.'

δι᾽ ὀφρύγων (= ὀφρύων), 'with head bent and looking from under the eyebrows.' ὀφρύς has not here of course any notion of 'pride' or scowling (superciliose, Fritzsche), but simply forms the antithesis to ποτίδην ἀντίος. They say in Russian, gljadîtj iz podlobja, 'to glance from under the brow'; opp. 'to look boldly in the face.'

λέπτ᾽ a quick passing glance: κλέπτ᾽ (Kreussler) is pretty but not necessary. Cf. Ibycus, fr. 2 ἔρος αὖτε με κυανέοις ὑπὸ βλεφάροις τακέρ᾽ ὄμμασι δερκόμενος.

[9] ὥ᾽ρος = ἔρος.

[11] εἰσκαλέσας, 'calling my heart before me.' Theocritus gives a new and quainter turn to such addresses to one's own heart as the Odyssean τέτλαθι δὴ κραδίη. Theognis, 1029 τόλμα θυμὲ κακοῖσιν ὅμως ἄτλητα πεπονθώς: Archiloch. 66, etc. Cf. A. Pal. v. 23: “ ψυχή μοι προλέγει φεύγειν πόθον ῾Ηλιοδώρας
φησὶ μέν: ἀλλὰ φυγεῖν οὔ μοι σθένος: γὰρ ἀναιδὴς
αὐτὴ καὶ προλέγει καὶ προλέγουσα φιλεῖ.

[12] τί ἔσχατον, 'what will be the end of this thy folly?' We should probably scan τί 'σχατον rather than τί ἔσχατον.

[14] ὧρα, 'time to bethink thee whether thou art no longer young to look on. ...'

φρονέειν takes the same construction as a verb of fearing here; cf. Xen. Cyrop. i. 1. 3 μετανοεῖν μὴ οὐ τῶν ἀδυνάτων τὸ ἀνθρώπων ἄρχειν.

[15] , 'Thou doest all that the young in years would do.' ἄρτι γεγεύμενοι, cf. A. Pal. Append. 238 μήπω γευσάμενον ἥβης: ib. vii. 76 ἄρτι δ᾽ ἀρότρου γευόμενον.

[18] βίος ἕρπει, κ.τ.λ. 'For his life speeds on swift as a roebuck, and to-morrow he will loose his sails for a voyage to another port, nor yet does the flower of his youth remain among his fellows.' Three warnings are contained in the three metaphors: first, that the lad is active of mind and body as a deer, and therefore no companion for an older man; secondly, that he changes his affection from day to day (cf. xxix. 14 sqq.); thirdly, that his prime of youth will soon be past (cf. vii. 120).

[22] ὀμμιμνασκομένῳ = ἀναμιμνησκομένῳ.

ὄρη ὄρημι : ὁρᾷ. Hiller compares aptly Horace, Odes iv. 1. 37: “ 'νοξτυρνις εγο σομνιις
     ιαμ ξαπτυμ τενεο, ιαμ ϝολυξρεμ σεθυορ
τε περ γραμινα μαρτιι
     ξαμπι, τε περ αθυας, δυρε, ϝολυβιλες.'

” He makes the subject the same as τῷ δέ. Is it not rather πόθος personified?

[24] ἐμεμψάμαν, 'this charge did I make against my heart.' μέμφεσθαι πρός τινα elsewhere = 'to lay a complaint before a judge': Xen. Oec. xi. 23 μέμψομαί τινα πρὸς τοὺς φίλους ἐπαινῶ” (cf. λέγειν εἰς δικαστάς).

[26] δοκίμοι δοκίμωμι = 'thinks.'

τοίς acc. plur. 'He thinks to discover easily how many nines of stars there are above our heads'; cf. Nicet. Eugen. iv. 411: “ δοκεῖ δέ μοί τις ἂν παρέλθῃ καὶ φύγῃ
῎Ερωτα τὸν τύραννον ἐπτερωμένον
καὶ τοὺς ἐφ᾽ ὕψους ἐκμετρήσειν ἀστέρας.

[27] ὁπποσσάκιν = ὁποσάκις.

ἐννέα the form of expression is chosen because of the mystic nature of the number nine. Plato's tyrant is 729 times as unhappy as the perfect citizen (729 = 93). Nicias, retreating from Syracuse, has to wait twenty-seven days (33) because of an eclipse of the moon. Ausonius (Id. xi) “'ter bibe vel totiens ternos: sic mystica lex est.'

[28] τὸν ἄμφενα = τὸν αὐχένα.

μακρὸν σχόντα, 'stretching out my neck,' like a horse pulling a heavy load. Nonnus, D. xiv. 265 εἰς ζυγὸν αὐτοκέλευστον ἑκούσιον αὐχένα τείνας (Hiller).

[31] 31, 32 'But me, the leaf of a day, that needs but a breath of wind (to make it fall), it carries where it listeth.'

ὀνέμων = ἀνέμων.

δεύμενον not for δευόμενον, but contracted from δεόμενον--a Doric rather than Aeolic form. For the contraction, cf. Herond. v. 19 τῶν σε γουνάτων δεῦμαι.


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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Xenophon, Cyropaedia, 1.1.3
    • Xenophon, Economics, 11.23
    • Xenophon, Symposium, 2.15
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