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The Rhyme Maker
Image of Callimachus unavailable
c. 310-240 bce

Theme:   Love and Romance

In this little ditty, “our host” is the victim of an unrequited love.  In ancient Greece, young men had an interesting ritual they employed in order to divine whether “She loves me” or “She loves me not”.  A cross-like contraption of wood was erected on the ground, and two containers were hung upon the outside ends of the cross-beam, making the construct resemble scales in appearance.  The young lover would then go some distance from this mechanism, with a vial or goblet of wine in hand.  He would then attempt to toss the wine into one of the hanging containers.  If he succeeded – “she loves me”.  If he failed, that is, “the thirsty earth has drank the wine” – “she loves me not”.   As is the case in our modern times, the young Greek of this poem doesn't accept the “she loves me not” on the first attempt at divining the answer.  Indeed, a fourth attempt is intimated.
- S. H. Bass  

more Callimachus at
If sober, and inclin'd to sport (Tytler)
Pour the wine, and drink it up (Tytler)

Twice Erasix fill'd his cup (Tytler)

Stop Button Clutter!
Behold our host by Love depriv'd of rest
Callimachus (c. 310-240 bce), Greek poet
translated by Henry William Tytler (1752-1808), British poet

Behold our host by Love depriv'd of rest,
A secret wound deep-rankling in his breast
He breathest in sighs, opress'd by pow'r divine
And Thrice the thirsty earth has drank the wine.

Epigram 44 from The Works Of Callimachus (1793)


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