Epigram 9.362

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ἱμερόεις Ἀλφειέ, Διὸς στεφανηφόρον ὕδωρ,
ὃς διὰ Πισαίων πεδίων κεκονιμένος ἕρπεις,
ἡσύχιος τὸ πρῶτον, ἐπὴν δ᾽ ἐς πόντον ἵκηαι,
ὀξὺς ἀμετρήτοιο πεσὼν ὑπὸ κῦμα θαλάσσης,

νυμφίος αὐτοκέλευθος ἑῶν ὀχετηγὸς ἐρώτων,
ἐς Σικελὴν Ἀρέθουσαν ἐπείγεαι ὑγρὸς ἀκοίτης,
ἡ δέ σε κεκμηῶτα καὶ ἀσθμαίνοντα λαβοῦσα,
φῦκος ἀποσμήξασα καὶ ἄνθεα πικρὰ θαλάσσης,
χείλεα μὲν στομάτεσσι συνήρμοσεν: οἷα δὲ νύμφη

νυμφίον ἀμφιχυθεῖσα περίπλοκον ἡδέι δεσμῷ
κείμενον ἐν κόλποισιν Ὀλύμπιον εὔνασεν ὕδωρ
καὶ φονίᾐ ῥαθάμιγγι λιβὰς κατεκίρνατο πηγή.
οὐδὲ Συρακοσίης ἔτι σοι μέλεν ἵμερος εὐνῆς:

πορφυρέᾐ δ᾽ ἀνέκοπτες ὕδωρ πεπιεσμένον αἰδοῖ,

φειδόμενος καὶ πόντον ὁμοῦ καὶ λέκτρα μιῆναι.
πολλάκι δ᾽ εὐναίων ὀάρων βεβιημένος ὁρμῇ,
αὐτὴν ἐς φιλότητα χυτῆς ἀλόχοιο περήσας,
ἑστήκεις ἄχραντον ὁρῶν Ἀρεθούσιον ὕδωρ:
ἡ δέ σε παπταίνουσα Πελωριάδος κατὰ πέτρης

δάκρυσι κυμαίνοντα, κατοικτείρουσα καὶ αὐτὴ
εὐειδὴς Ἀρέθουσα φίλους ἀνεκόπτετο μαζούς,
καὶ δρόσος οἷα ῥόδοισιν ἐτήκετο: μυρομένῳ δὲ
Πισαίῳ ποταμῷ Σικελὴ προσεμύρετο πηγή.
οὐδὲ Δίκην ἔλαθεν πανδερκέα φοίνιος ἀνὴρ

Ἑλλάδος ἀμώων ἄγαμον στάχυν, ᾧ ἔπι πολλαὶ
ἡρώων ἄλοχοι, μινυώρια τέκνα τεκοῦσαι
μαψιδίως ὠδῖνας ἀνεκλαύσαντο γυναῖκες.

— Paton edition

Delightful Alpheus, stream that nourishest the
crowns of Zeus,¹ winding with thy muddy water
through the plain of Pisa, tranquil at first, but when
thou readiest the sea plunging eagerly under the
waves of the vast main, now made a bridegroom
conducting the current of his love in a self-made
channel, thou dost hie to Sicilian Arethusa to be
her watery bed-fellow. Then she, taking thee to
her tired and panting, wipes off the weed and the
bitter flowers of the sea, and joining her lips to thine,
clasping like a bride thy Olympian stream in the
sweet bonds of her embrace, lulls thee to sleep lying
in her bosom. . . . and² thy limpid fount was defiled by
showers of blood, and no longer was thy heart filled
with desire for thy Syracusan love, but thou didst
hold back thy waters, repressed by blushing shame,
saving from pollution the sea and thy bridal bed ;
yet, often compelled by thy longing for nuptial in-
tercourse, wouldst thou pass the sea to thy beloved
liquid bride and stand gazing at the stainless water
of Arethusa. And the lovely Arethusa, looking on
thee surging with tears from the Pelorian rock,³
would pity thee and beat her breasts, and melt like
the dew on roses, the Sicilian fount responding to
the lament of the river of Pisa. But he did not
escape the eye of all-seeing Justice, that man of
blood who mowed down the unwedded harvest of
Greece, whereat many wives of the heroes wept
for the short-lived children to bear whom they had
suffered in vain.

— Paton edition

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Comment

#1

Paton Edition: 1 The wild-olive trees which furnished the crowns for the Olympic festival.

2 There are evidently some lines missing. The remainder refers to some barbarian invasion of the Peloponnese.

3 The N.E. cape of Sicily.

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