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The Rhyme Maker
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Theocritus
c. 310-250 bce


Theme:  Wine Drinkers


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Dangling above our heads hung canopies
Theocritus (c. 310 - 250 bce), Greek poet
translation by Walter Headlam (1866-1908)

Dangling above our heads hung canopies
Of whispering elms and rustling poplar-trees;
Near us the water of the sacred well
Dropped from the Nymphs' cave, tinkling as
it fell;
On every twig in shadow sat with glee
The sunburnt crickets, chattering busily;
And murmuring afar off in solitude,
Bowered in the deep thorn-brake, the turtle
cooed.
All rich delight and luxury was there:
Larks and bright finches singing in the air;
The brown bees flying around the well;
The ring-dove moaning; everywhere the smell
Of opulent summer and of ripening-tide:
Pears at our feet and apples at our side
Rolling in plenteousness; in piles around
Branches, with damsons burdening to the
ground,
Strewn for our feast; and from the full wine-tun
Wax of a four-years-aged seal undone.


     
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