Love, And Some of His Own Medicine

Anacreonta 35

“Once, among the roses
Love didn’t notice
A sleeping bee
And it wounded him, biting his finger.
How he howled over his hand!

He rushed and flew
To beautiful Kythera and said
“I am dying, my mother.
I have been killed. I am dying.
That tiny snake struck me
The snake with wings. The one
The farmers call a honey-bee.”

She responded, “if the bee’s
Little sting hurts, then
How much do you imagine
All the people suffer
From your attacks?”

Ἔρως ποτ᾿ ἐν ῥόδοισι
κοιμωμένην μέλιτταν
οὐκ εἶδεν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐτρώθη·
τὸν δάκτυλον παταχθεὶς
τᾶς χειρὸς ὠλόλυξε.

δραμὼν δὲ καὶ πετασθεὶς
πρὸς τὴν καλὴν Κυθήρην
῾ὄλωλα, μῆτερ,’ εἶπεν,
῾ὄλωλα κἀποθνήσκω·
ὄφις μ᾿ ἔτυψε μικρὸς
πτερωτός, ὃν καλοῦσιν
μέλιτταν οἱ γεωργοί.’

ἁ δ᾿ εἶπεν· ῾εἰ τὸ κέντρον
πονεῖ τὸ τᾶς μελίττας,
πόσον δοκεῖς πονοῦσιν,
Ἔρως, ὅσους σὺ βάλλεις;’

Small GReek coin from the city of Ephesus. The side facing the camera shows a bee in the middle with the GReek letters epsilon and phi on other side
394-295 BC – silver tetradrachm – bee – München

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