Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Love's Schooling - Bion

I dreamed and lo! the great Cyprian stood before me.
Her fair hand did lead, with head hanging, the little silly Love,
and she said to me: “Pray you, sweet Shepherd,
take and teach me this child to sing and play,”
and so was gone.

So I fell to teaching master Love,
fool that I was, as one willing to learn;
and taught him all my lore of country-music,
to with how Pan did invent the cross-flute and Athena the flute,
Hermes the lyre and sweet Apollo the harp.

But nay, the child would give no heed to aught I might say;
rather would he be singing love-songs of his own,
and taught me of the doings of his mother and the desires of Gods and men.
And as for all the lore I had been teaching master Love,
I clean forgot it, but the love-songs master Love taught me,
I learnt them every one.

Bion (1st - 2nd century BC) Ancient Greece
Translated by J. M. Edmonds
Source: Classical Texts Library

  • The great Cyprian = Venus

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