Epigram 9.404

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ἆ καλὸν αὐτοπόνητον ἐν αἰθέρι ῥεῦμα μελισσῶν,
κἄπλαστοι χειρῶν αὐτοπαγεῖς θαλάμαι,

προίκιος ἀνθρώπων βιότῳ χάρις, οὐχὶ μακέλλας,
οὐ βοός, οὐ γαμψῶν δευομένα δρεπάνων,

γαυλοῦ δὲ σμικροῖο, τόθι γλυκὺ νᾶμα μέλισσα
πηγάζει σκήνευς δαψιλὲς ἐξ ὀλίγου.
χαίροιτ᾽ εὐαγέες, καὶ ἐν ἄνθεσι ποιμαίνεσθε,
αἰθερίου πτηναὶ νέκταρος ἐργάτιδες.

— Paton edition

Ah ! lovely is the liquor of the bees, self-wrought
in the ether, and the cells self-moulded and not
with hands ; a gift unrequited to the life of men,
needing no mattock, or oxen, or crooked sickle, but
only a little vessel into which the bee pours forth
the sweet stream in abundance from its tiny body.
Hail ! ye pure creatures ; pasture on the flowers, ye
winged makers of ethereal nectar.

— Paton edition

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