[BACK] [Blueprint] [NEXT]


From Specimens of the Poets and Poetry of Greece and Rome by Various Translators, edited by William Peter, A. M. of Christ-church, Oxford; Philadelphia: Carey and Hart; 1847; pp. 45-46.



[About 564 B. C.]

IBYCUS was a native of Rhegium in Italy, but chiefly resided at the court of Polycrates in Samos. He is styled by Suidas the most love-mad (������������������) of poets, and the short fragments of his writings that remain to us, seem fully to bear out the character thus given him. It is not so much, however, on account of his life or writings, as of the circumstances related of his death, and of the deathless interest which has been attached to them by a later and far greater bard, that he is here introduced.* The story (according to Ælian) is, that being attacked and wounded to death by robbers, and seeing, in his dying moments a flight of cranes, he cried out: — “Those birds will be my avengers!” And so they were; for one of the murderers happening 46 soon afterwards to see a flock of the same birds flying over the market place of Corinth, inadvertently exclaimed to his comrades: “Behold the avengers of Ibycus!” His words were overheard, suspicions arose, inquiry followed, truth came to light, and Ibycus’ dying prophesy was accomplished in the execution of his murderers. Hence the proverb of ‘���������� ἔ���������, in cases of criminals unexpectedly found out and brought to justice.

*  See Schiller’s “Kraniche des Ibykus.”

[The translation of the above proverb means, very approximately, “The avenging of Ibycus.“ Thanks to that kind genius David Whitehead, see another proverb on the death of Ibycus and another account of the poet on the Suda on line HERE. Interestingly enough, the proverb is not the same as in this text by William Peter above, the translation of love-mad is translated by David Whitehead as obsessed with love. Another page of the online Suda has a popular saying by Ibycus often quoted by others HERE. — Elf.Ed.]



Translated by H. N. Coleridge

O THOU, the bright-haired Graces’ bud and care,
Euryale! Sure Venus fair
And sweet Persuasion, with her eyelids mild,
In rose-flower cradle nourished thee a child.



Translated by H. N. Coleridge

IN Spring, bedewed with river-streams,
From where, for everlasting, gleams
     The garden of th’ Hesperides
Blossom Cydonian apple-trees; —
In Spring the saplings freshly shine,
     Beneath the parent-vine
     In shadow and in breeze;
But me Love’s mighty power,
That sleepeth never an hour,
From Venus rushing, burneth with desire,
     As with lightning fire;
Black, as the Thracian wind,
He seizes on my mind,
With dry delirious heat
Inflames my reason’s seat,
And, in the centre of my soul,
Keeps empire for a child, and holds
     Uncheck’d control.


[BACK] [Blueprint] [NEXT]

Valid CSS!