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COPA Surisca, caput Graeca redimita mitella, crispum sub crotalo docta movere latus, ebria fumosa saltat lasciva taberna,
ad cubitum raucos excutiens calamos:
sunt topia et kalybae, cyathi, rosa, tibia, chordae,
est et vappa, cado nuper defusa picato,
et strepitans rauco murmure rivus aquae. sunt et cum croceo violae de flore corollae
sertaque purpurea lutea mixta rosa et quae virgineo libata Achelois ab amne lilia vimineis attulit in calathis.
sunt et caseoli, quos iuncea fiscina siccat, sunt autumnali cerea pruna die castaneaeque nuces et suave rubentia mala,
est hic munda Ceres, est Amor, est Bromius.
3 fumosa M: famosa SFL.
kalybae (= кaλúßα) Reichenbach: MSS. have kalibes,
calybes, chalybes, or calices.
10 in ore SFL: more M.
13 et cum croceo Leo: etiam croceo.
* For the MSS. see the opening note on the Dirae.
SYRISCA, the inn-keeper, her head bound with Greek kerchief, trained as she is to sway her tremulous limbs to the notes of her castanets, within her smoky tavern tipsily dances in wanton wise, shaking against her elbow her noisy reeds: 2 "What boots it to stay outside, when aweary with the summer's dust, rather than to recline on the thirsty couch of grass? There are garden nooks and arbours, mixing-cups, roses, flutes, lyres, and cool bowers with shady canes. Lo! too, the pipe, which twitters sweetly within a Maenalian grotto, sounds its rustic strain in a shepherd's mouth. There is fresh wine, too, just drawn from the pitched jar, and a water-brook running noisily with hoarse murmur; there are also chaplets of violet blossoms mixed with saffron, and yellow garlands blended with crimson roses; and lilies bedewed by a virgin stream, which a nymph 5 has brought in osier-baskets. There are little cheeses, too, dried in a basket of rushes; there are waxen plums of autumn's season, and chestnuts and sweetly blushing apples; there is Ceres' pure gift, with Love and Bacchus ;
1 This interesting little poem, written in elegiac couplets, was attributed to Virgil by the grammarian Charisius.
2 The castanets were made of pieces of reed or wood. 3 cf. "viridante toro... herbae" (Aen. v. 388).
4 cf. Georgics, I. 17; Eclogues, VIII. 21.
5 As Achelous is used for aqua in general (cf. Georgics, 1. 9), so Achelois is used for a water-nymph or Naiad; cf. Eclogues, II. 45. 46.
sunt et mora cruenta et lentis uva racemis,
sed non et vasto est inguine terribilis.
si sapis, aestivo recubans nunc prolue vitro,
a pereat, cui sunt prisca supercilia!
quid cineri ingrato servas bene olentia serta ?
pone merum et talos. pereat, qui crastina curat ! Mors aurem vellens 'vivite' ait, 'venio.''
25 huc M: huic S.
26 Vestae Voss: vestrae.
28 varia M: vero S: vere L: vepris Ellis: veprum Haupt. 29 nunc] te Paris 8205.
31 hic S: eia or hia.
36 ista] ossa Ilgen. tegi] legi Wernsdorff, who refers ista to serta. Wouldst have them culled at the crowning of thy tomb?"
37 Vollmer gives this verse only to the traveller, making v. 38 an epilogue. Other editors carry the inn-keeper's speech through to the end.
there are blood-red mulberries with grapes in heavy clusters, and from its stalk hangs the blue-grey melon. There is the cot's guardian,1 armed with sickle of willow, but not to be feared is he, for all his huge groin. Now thy
25 Come hither, priest of Cybele!"
wearied ass is sweating; spare him: the ass is Vesta's delight. Now with constant song the cicalas rend the thickets; now the spotted lizard lurks in her cool retreat if thou art wise, lay thee down now and steep thyself in a bowl of summer-time,5 or in fresh crystal cups, if thou wishest them brought. Come; rest here thy wearied frame beneath the shade of vines, and entwine thy heavy head in a garland of roses, sweetly snatching kisses from a tender maiden's lips. Ah! away with him that has
the sternness of early days! Why keepest the fragrant wreaths for thankless ashes? Wouldst have those limbs covered with a crowned tombstone?” G 37Set forth the wine and dice! Away with him Death, plucking the ear,
who heeds the morrow!
cries: Live; I come!""
2 Used jocularly, the galli or priests of Cybele having a reputation as vagabonds or beggars.
Because, according to the story, his braying warned Vesta of an assault by Priapus (cf. Ovid, Fasti, vi. 311 ff.). 4 cf. Georgics, III. 328. i.e. one of unusual size.
6 Garlands were laid on tombstones; cf. Propertius, III. xvi. 23. The copa asks the traveller to have the wreaths used for a feast, not for a funeral. He is supposed to yield to her allurements, and, citing an Epicurean maxim, to fling discretion to the winds.
IAM nox hibernas bis quinque peregerat horas
Inde abit adsistitque molae parvaque tabella, quam fixam paries illos servabat in usus,
7 sentit H: sensit.
13 sed vix Bücheler: sed lux.
8 fumus] fomes Scaliger. 15 clavi H.
* Besides F, S, L, for which see note at the opening of the Culex, Vollmer cites P Paris 16236 of the 10th century; D Paris 7930 of the 11th century; R: = Vindob. 134