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Εγω και τας κώμας μου,
The Laughter-loving Maids you fly, and fear;
Horace says of our Author, that he wrote non elaboratum ad pedem, artlesly elegant. And the inimitable Ease which abounds in the Original of this Ode, is an Instance, amongst many others, how justly he deserves that Character. We have an Imitation of it in an Epigram of Palladas' Antholog. L. 2. pag. 175. Γηραλέον με γινακες υποσκώσπεσι, λέγεσαι Εις το κάτοπλεον οράν λήψανον ηλικίας.
But whether still soft-curls my Hair,
Αλλ' εγω ο λάκας φορέω τείχας, είτε μελαίνας,
Ουκ αλέγω, βιότε προς τέλG ερχόμμΘ. Ευόσμοις μύροισι, και ευπετάλους σεφάνοισι, Tạ Beguia ccéuw pegvlid as epganéas.
The Fair, insulting cry, because I'm old,
σοι θέλεις ποιήσω;
Τί σοι λάλη χελιδων και
VER. 3 & 4. Shall my Steel invade tby Wings,
Clipping thence their airy Rings? ] Perhaps Anacreon gave the Epithet xão', Light, to the Wings of the Swallow; because, as Pliny remarks, Volucrum foli hirundini, flexuosa volatus velox celeritas ; the Swallow is the only Bird which flies swift in a Ring or mazy Flight.
VER. 5. Or mall I a Tereus play.] Tereus was King of Thrace; he marry'd Progné the Daughter of Pandion, King of Athens ; but being afterwards taken with the Beauty of her Sister Philomela, he ravish'd her, and to conceal his Crime, cut out her Tongue and imprison'd her ; but Progné being inform’d of her Sister's
HATT'RER! What Revenge of mine
Equal can this Crime of thine?
5 Shall I tear thy Tongue away?
Misfortune, by a piece of Embroidery which she had the Address to send her, to revenge herself of her incestuous Husband, kill'd the Son she had by him, call'd Itys, and had his Flesh serv'd up for him to eat: Being pursued by Tereus, she was chang’d by the Gods into a Swallow, Philomela into a Nightingale, Tereus into a Lapwing, and Itys into a Pheasant. The Story is told at large by Ovid, in the Sixth Book of his Metamorphoses. But it's remarkable, that Anacreon, in this Passage, contradicts the received Opinion, and makes Philomela the Person chang'd into a Swallow. Servius, the Scholiast of Virgil, is of the fame Sentiment; as is also Apollodorus, and Homer himself, Odyll. L. 19.
VER. 7. Why with early tuneless Noise.] No Birds sing so early in the Morning as Swallows. Virgil speaks of them when he says,
Et matutini volucrum fub culmine cantus.
VER. 10. Snatch'd Bathyllus from my Arms.] Madam D’Acier, in her Remark on this Line, cites the following beautiful Passage from Horace, L. 4. Ode 1.
Noturnis te ego fomniis
Te per gramina Martii
Thee, thee, my lovely Boy,
Pursue o'er Fields and Streams;
Agathias has given us a very elegant Imitation of this Ode in an Epigram of his Antholog. L. 7. p. 461.