Ad C: Favonium Zephyrinum
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Ad C: Favonium Zephyrinum
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Title/Paratext] "[Prose translation by J. R. [...]" H.W. Starr/J.R. Hendrickson, 1966.
"[Prose translation by J. R. Hendrickson:]
"To Gaius Favonius Zephyrinus"
Mother of roses, for whom the gentle breezes of the West Wind swell, to whom sportive Venus lends her company, attended by choruses of nymphs and the song of birds!
Tell me, beneath what shade does Zephyrinus love to while away the busy day? Perhaps he permits the golden lyre to sleep; perhaps, full of sweet rage, he wakes it again to song in the Pierian grotto, forgetful of his friend strolling amid the cool shades of Tusculum or among the hills of lofty Alba, sacred to Pallas.
O Pine forests beloved by Faunus and the goat-footed chorus, I call you to witness, which of you soever the brawling Anio, rolling down the cliffs, causes to tremble with his headlong stream, that lofty Tibur has heard the name of Favonius, as have also the enchanting groves of Aesula, and that the cliffs dear to the Latin Naiads have re-echoed it: for the Latin Naiads have seen me on the moist bank where the sweet-singing bird of Venusia so often bathed his snowy plumes in limpid dew. Then a miracle! To hear him as he sang, the grove became silent, and the sacred springs; and to this very day (for so the Muse commanded), the rocks, taught to sing, and the ancient laurels, keep repeating the soft strains.
Do not, then, be astonished that I, a novice of the lyre, struggle with limping numbers: lovely places and joyful spring have taught the song, badly composed though it be; for (be sure) under every leaf in the dark grove cling dreams inspired by Phoebus, and stream and breezes speak more melodiously than any virtuoso."
- The Complete Poems of Thomas Gray: English, Latin and Greek. Edited by Herbert W. Starr and J. R. Hendrickson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1966.
Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Initial letters of sentences have been capitalized, all accents have been removed. The editor would like to express his gratitude to library staff at Pembroke College, Cambridge, at the British Library, and at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for their invaluable assistance.