Meleager of Gadara

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Ruins of Gadara
Coin of Tyre, 104–103 BC
Mosaic with the Nine Muses, Cos

Meleager of Gadara (fl. 1st century BC) was an ancient Greek poet.


Anth. Pal. v. 136.
  • Ἔγχει, καὶ πάλιν εἰπέ, πάλιν, πάλιν “Ἡλιοδώρας”
      εἰπέ, σὺν ἀκρήτῳ τὸ γλυκὺ μίσγ᾽ ὄνομα:
    καί μοι τὸν βρεχθέντα μύροις καὶ χθιζὸν ἐόντα,
      μναμόσυνον κείνας ἀμφιτίθει στέφανον.
    δακρύει φιλέραστον ἰδοὺ ῥόδον, οὕνεκα κείναν
      ἄλλοθι, κοὐ κόλποις ἁμετέροις ἐσορᾷ.
    • Fill up the cup and say again, again, again, “Heliodora’s.” Speak the sweet name, temper the wine with but that alone. And give me, though it be yesternight’s, the garland still dripping with scent to wear in memory of her. Look how the rose that favours Love is weeping, because it sees her elsewhere and not in my bosom.
      • ("To the Cup-bearer") W. R. Paton, Greek Anthology, i, pp. 102-5.
    • FILL high the cup with liquid flame,
      And speak my Heliodora’s name!
      Repeat its magic o’er and o’er,
      And let the sound my lips adore
      Sweeten the breeze, and mingling swim
      On every bowl’s voluptuous brim!
      Give me the wreath that withers there;
        It was but last delicious night
      It hung upon her wavy hair,
        And caught her eyes’ reflected light!
      Oh! haste, and twine it round my brow;
      It breathes of Heliodora now.
      The loving rosebud drops a tear
      To see the nymph no longer here,
      No longer where she used to lie,
      Close to my heart’s devoted sigh.
      • ("The End of the Feast") Thomas Moore, Epistles, Odes, &c. (1806), p. 69.
    • FILL high the cup with liquid flame,
      And speak my Heliodora’s name.
      Repeat its magic o’er and o’er,
      And let the sound my lips adore,
      Live in the breeze, till every tone,
      And word, and breath, speaks her alone.
      Give me the wreath that withers there,
        It was but last delicious night,
      It circled her luxuriant hair,
        And caught her eyes’ reflected light.
      Oh! haste, and twine it round my brow,
      ’Tis all of her that’s left me now.
      And see—each rosebud drops a tear,
      To find the nymph no longer here—
      No longer, where such heavenly charms
      As hers should be—within these arms.
      • ("From the Greek of Meleager") Thomas Moore, Poetical Works, i (1841), p. 221.
    • O POUR the wine, and as you pour,
      Say Heliodore, Heliodore,
      Ever and ever, o'er and o'er.
      And bring a chaplet for my hair,
      Yesterday's chaplet, sweet with myrrh,
      To wear in memory of her.
      Ah, look, the lover's rose distrest,
      Is weeping now to see her rest
      Otherwhere, not upon my breast.
      • H. C. Beeching, Love in Idleness (1883), p. 163.
    • POUR wine, and cry, again, again, again,
          To Heliodore!
      And mingle the sweet word ye call in vain
          With that ye pour:
      And bring to me her wreath of yesterday
          That’s dark with myrrh;
      Hesternae Rosae, ah, my friends, but they
          Remember her.
      Lo! the kind roses, loved of lovers, weep,
          As who repine;
      For if on any breast they see her sleep,
          It is not mine.
      • ("Heliodore") Andrew Lang, Grass of Parnassus (1888), p. 112.
    • FILL up, and say, ‘To Heliodore!’
        Once more, once more
      Say it, and mix with liquor neat
        That name so sweet.
      About my brow the garland set,
        With perfume wet;
      Garland of yestereven, her
      It weeps, you see, the true-love rose;
        Because it knows
      She is not in my arms to-day,
        But far away.
      • ("The Cup-bearer") R. A. Furness (1931)
[G-P 25] Anth. Pal. v. 156.
  • Ἁ φίλερως χαροποῖς Ἀσκληπιὰς οἷα γαλήνης
    ὄμμασι συμπείθει πάντας ἐρωτοπλοεῖν.
    • Love-loving Asclepias, with her clear blue eyes, like summer seas, persuades all to make the love-voyage.
      • W. R. Paton, Greek Anthology, i, pp. 202-3.
    • SUCH glittering calm of sunlit weather
        In her bright eyes hath she,
      Fair Amoret! all men’s hearts together
        Launch upon Love’s alluring sea.
      • ("Love’s Mariners") W. G. Headlam, A Book of Greek Verse (1907), pp. 226-7.
    • ASCLĒPIAS, child of passion, bright eyes like the calm sea’s blue,
      You lure to sail for Cythēra whoever looks on you.
      • ("The Siren") F. L. Lucas, Greek Poetry for Everyman (1951), p. 352.
Anth. Pal. v. 171.
  • ?
    • The wine-cup feels sweet joy and tells me how it touches the prattling mouth of Zenophila the friend of love. Happy cup! Would she would set her lips to mine and drink up my soul at one draught.
      • W. R. Paton, Greek Anthology, i, pp. 210-11.
    • THE wine-cup is glad: dear Zenophilè’s lip
      It boasts to have touched, when she stooped down to sip.
      Happy wine-cup! I wish that, with lips joined to mine,
      All my soul at a draught she would drink up like wine.
      • ("The Wine-Cup") Lord Neaves, The Greek Anthology (1874), p. ?
Anth. Pal. v. 180.
  • ?
    • What wonder if murderous Love shoots those arrows that breathe fire, and laughs bitterly with cruel eyes! Is not Ares his mother’s lover, and Hephaestus her lord, the fire and the sword sharing her? And his mother’s mother the Sea, does she not roar savagely flogged by the winds? And his father has neither name nor pedigree. So hath he Hephaestus’ fire, and yearns for anger like the waves, and loveth Ares’ shafts dipped in blood.
      • W. R. Paton, Greek Anthology, v, pp. 214-16.
    • NO wonder Cupid is a murderous boy,
      A fiery archer, making pain his joy.
      His dam, while fond of Mars, is Vulcan’s wife;
      And thus ’twixt fire and sword divides her life.
      His mother’s mother, too—why, that’s the Sea!
      When lashed with winds, a roaring fury she.
      No father has he, and no father’s kin:
      ’Tis through the mother all his faults flow in.
      Thus has he Vulcan’s flames, the wild Sea’s rage.
      And Mars’s blood-stained darts his wars on us to wage.
      • ("The Earthly Cupid") Lord Neaves, The Greek Anthology (1874), p. ?
Anth. Pal. vii. 196.
  • Ἀχήεις τέττιξ, δροσεραῖς σταγόνεσσι μεθυσθείς,
      ἀγρονόμαν μέλπεις μοῦσαν ἐρημολάλον
    ἄκρα δ᾽ ἐφεζόμενος πετάλοις, πριονώδεσι κώλοις
      αἰθίοπι κλάζεις χρωτὶ μέλισμα λύρας.
    ἀλλά, φίλος, φθέγγου τι νέον δενδρώδεσι Νύμφαις
      παίγνιον, ἀντῳδὸν Πανὶ κρέκων κέλαδον,
    ὄφρα φυγὼν τὸν Ἔρωτα, μεσημβρινὸν ὕπνον ἀγρεύσω
      ἐνθάδ᾽ ὑπὸ σκιερᾷ κεκλιμένος πλατάνῳ.
    • Noisy cicada, drunk with dew drops, thou singest thy rustic ditty that fills the wilderness with voice, and seated on the edge of the leaves, striking with saw-like legs thy sunburnt skin thou shrillest music like the lyre’s. But sing, dear, some new tune to gladden the woodland nymphs, strike up some strain responsive to Pan’s pipe, that I may escape from Love and snatch a little midday sleep, reclining here beneath the shady plane-tree.
      • ("On a Cicada") W. R. Paton, Greek Anthology, ii, pp. 110-11.
    • OH shrill-voiced insect! that, with dew-drops sweet
        Inebriate, dost in desert woodlands sing;
      Perch’d on the spray-top with indented feet,
        Thy dusky body’s echoings, harp-like, ring:
      Come, dear Cicada! chirp to all the grove,
        The nymphs, and Pan, a new responsive strain;
      That I, in noonday sleep, may steal from love,
        Reclined beneath this dark o’erspreading plain.
      • ("To the Tree-Locust") C. A. Elton, Specimens of the Classical Poets, i (1814), p. 414.
    • CHIRRUPING grasshopper, drunken with dew-drops,
      Lonely thou tunest a shrill meadow-lay,
      Perched upon petals, with legs that are saw-like,
      Swarthy one, as on a cithern to play.
      Friend, sing anew for delight of the tree-nymphs,
      Answer to Pan with a rivalling strain,
      That I, fleeing Love, may get sleep in the noon-tide
      Here, lying under the shade of the plane.
      • ("A Cicada") W. G. Headlam, Fifty Poems of Meleager (1890), p. 18.
Anth. Pal. xii. 258.
  • ?
    • Perchance someone in future years, listening to these trifles of mine, will think these pains of love were all my own. No! I ever scribble this and that for this and that boy-lover, since some god gave me this gift.
    • IT may be in the years to come
       That men who love shall think of me,
       And reading o’er these verses see
      How love was my life’s martyrdom.
      Love-songs I write for him and her,
       Now this, now that, as Love dictates;
       One birthday gift alone the Fates
      Gave me, to be Love’s scrivener.
      • ("Envoy") J. A. Symonds, Jr., Studies of the Greek Poets, 3rd ed., ii (1893), p. 329
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