Kyrnos, when we are breeding stock,
we look for the best in horses, donkeys, or rams for stud,
to get a good strain; yet even the finest man
is willing to marry a rascal’s rascally daughter,
if only she brings him money enough.



a reproach

See, I have given you wings on which to hover
uplifted high above earth entire
and the great waste of the sea without strain.
Wherever men meet in festivals, as men gather,
you will be there, your name will be spoken again as the young singers,
with the flutes clear piping beside them,
make you into a part of the winsome verses, and sing of you.
And even after you pass to the gloom
and the secret chambers of sorrow,
Death’s house hidden under the ground,
even in death your memory shall not pass,
and it shall not die, but always, a name and a song in the minds of men,
Kyrnos, you shall outrange the land of Greece and the islands,
cross the upheaving sea where the fish swarm,
carried not astride the back of a horse,
but the shining gifts of the dark-wreathed Muses
shall be the force that carries you on your way.
For all wherever song is you shall be there for the singers.
So long as earth endures and sun endures, you shall be. I did this.
But you give me not the smallest attention.
You put me off with deceits as if I were a little child.