Rufinus, Epigram I (Greek Anthology = 5.9)

I, Rufinus, wish my sweetest Elpis much happiness, if indeed you can be happy without me. Oh, by your eyes! I no longer approve of this solitude-loving, single-couch separation from you! Ever with tear-soaked eyes I go to Koressos or the temple of great Artemis; but tomorrow my own country will welcome me, and I will fly to you. I wish you boundless strength!

Ῥουφῖνος τῇ μῇ γλυκερωτάτῃ Ἐλπίδι πολλὰ
χαίρειν, εἰ χαίρειν χωρὶς ἐμοῦ δύναται.
οὐκέτι βαστάζω, μὰ τὰ ς᾽ ὄμματα, τὴν φιλέρημον
καὶ τὴν μουνολεχῆ σεῖο διαζυγίην
ἀλλ᾽ αἰεὶ δακρύοισι πεφυρμένος ἢ πὶ Κορησσὸν
ἔρχομαι ἢ μεγάλης νηὸν ἐς Ἀρτέμιδος.
αὔριον ἀλλὰ πάτρη με δεδέξεται: ἐς δὲ σὸν ὄμμα
πτήσομαι, ἐρρῶσθαι μυρία ς᾽ εὐχόμενος.

This is a bit of an odd poem. The middle is more or less a straightforward amatory epigram, but the first and last lines give it something of an epistolary feel. Having no talent for verse translation, I have just included a regular piece of prose, which perhaps heightens the sense that this is just a letter.

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