an apple on a high branch (Sappho)

This fragment from Sappho is an epithalamium, a poem for a bride on her wedding-day, to be sung praise of her by the bridesmaids.

οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ’ ὔσδῳ,
ἄκρον ἐπ’ ἀκροτάτῳ· λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες,
οὐ μὰν ἐκλελάθοντ’, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐδύναντ’ ἐπίκεσθαι.

1 οἶον = οἷον—γλυκύ|μᾱλον ‘sweet apple’ (Ionic-Attic μῆλον, Latin mālum ‘apple’)—ἐρεύθομαι ‘redden, become red’—ὔσδῳ = ὄζῳ dat sg ὄζος ‘branch, bough, twig.’
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A dog’s epitaph

In light of a recent canine death in the family, I thought I would publish this nice little epitaph from the Inscriptiones Graecae, and some of my notes on it.

Τὴν τρίβον ὃς παράγεις, ἂν πως τόδε σῆμα νοήσῃς,
 μή, δέομαι, γελάσῃς, εἰ κυνός ἐστι τάφος·
ἐκλαύσθην· χεῖρες δὲ κόνιν συνέθηκαν ἄνακτος,
 ὅς μου καὶ στήλῃ τόνδ’ ἐχάραξε λόγον.

IG 14.2128

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Some couplets on a moribund snowman I passed on a walk yesterday

ἠέλιον φεύγοντ’, ὦ χειματίδη, σε θεῶμαι
 μοῖραν ἀμύνεσθαι δάκρυσι μυδαλεήν
μαψιδίως· ἦ γὰρ κατὰ νῦν Ἀίδαο δόμονδε
 δύσεαι οὐλοδαής, ἠὲ, ἄνερ χιόνος,
τυτθόν περ καθύπερθε τετηγμένος ἤματι τῷδε 5
 ἠελίοιο φάει αὔριον ἀποθανῇ;

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To Poseidon (Homeric Hymn XXII)

Ἀμφὶ Ποσειδάωνα, μέγαν θεόν, ἄρχομ᾽ ἀείδειν,
γαίης κινητῆρα καὶ ἀτρυγέτοιο θαλάσσης,
πόντιον, ὅσθ᾽ Ἑλικῶνα καὶ εὐρείας ἔχει Αἰγάς.
διχθά τοι, Ἐννοσίγαιε, θεοὶ τιμὴν ἐδάσαντο,
ἵππων τε δμητῆρ᾽ ἔμεναι σωτῆρά τε νηῶν. 5
χαῖρε, Ποσείδαον γαιήοχε, κυανοχαῖτα,
καί, μάκαρ, εὐμενὲς ἦτορ ἔχων πλώουσιν ἄρηγε.

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An Old Irish fart poem

At·tá ben is’ tír,
·eiprimm a hainm,
maidid eissi a deilm
amal chloich a tailm.

1   at· H1 3 sg ‘be’ (cf. modern Ir ), here with existential sense, ‘there is’—ben nom sg ‘woman’ (cf. modern Ir bean, Gk γυνή, Eng queen)—is’ = isin = i ‘in’ + definite article—tír neut s dat ‘land, country’
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The Great Seal

Epic poetry is everywhere.

The Great Seal of the United States, found (among other places) on the back of the one-dollar bill, contains two Latin mottoes on its reverse, which is on the left side of the bill. The seal was officially adopted by the U.S. government in 1782.
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