Homer’s Lyre and the Lyric Muse

Anacreonta 2

“Give me Homer’s lyre
Without its bloody strings–
Hand me cups of laws
mixed with rules for things.

That way, I will dance when I’m drunk
wisely out of my mind,
I will sing to the fingers playing
And shout the songs for drinking
Just give me Homer’s lyre
Without its bloody strings.”

δότε μοι λύρην Ὁμήρου
φονίης ἄνευθε χορδῆς,
φέρε μοι κύπελλα θεσμῶν,
φέρε μοι νόμους κεράσσας,

μεθύων ὅπως χορεύσω,
ὑπὸ σώφρονος δὲ λύσσης
μετὰ βαρβίτων ἀείδων
τὸ παροίνιον βοήσω.
δότε μοι λύρην Ὁμήρου
φονίης ἄνευθε χορδῆς.

Anacreonta 3

“Come here, best of painters
Listen to the Lyric muse!
Paint cities first
Happy ones, laughing ones,
And Bacchantes at play,
Breathing into their double pipes.
Then if the wax can manage,
Trace out the lovers’ ways.”

ἄγε, ζωγράφων ἄριστε,
λυρικῆς ἄκουε Μούσης·
γράφε τὰς πόλεις τὸ πρῶτον
ἱλαράς τε καὶ γελώσας,
φιλοπαίγμονάς τε Βάκχας
†ἑτεροπνόους ἐναύλους·†
ὁ δὲ κηρὸς ἂν δύναιτο,
γράφε καὶ νόμους φιλούντων.

Peter Paul Reubens “Minerva protects Pax from Mars” 1629/30

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