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This poem is taken from PN Review 44, Volume 11 Number 6, July - August 1985.

Idyll 1 (translated by Robert Wells) Theocritus
translated by Robert Wells


That pinetree by the spring and your touch on the pipe:
Both whisper a music to draw the listener in
With its sweetness, goatherd. Only Pan plays sweeter.
If he chooses the horned goat, you shall take the she-goat
For your prize. If he takes the she-goat, the kid shall be yours.
It tastes delicious, the flesh of an unmilked kid.


Your song is sweeter, shepherd, than the waternoise
Made by the stream tumbling from its rocky spout.
If the Muses claim the ewe as a gift, you shall have
The plump pet lamb. If they want the plump pet lamb
You shall take the sheep, and be second only to them.


Sit down now, goatherd, (think the Nymphs had asked you)

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