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At break of day, the desert-haunting owl
Lengthens from far her solitary howl:

The clamouring crow is perch'd, where high the shore

With jutting cliff o'erhangs the ocean roar;
Or with dipp'd head the river-wave divides,
Dives whole-immers'd, or cawing skims the tides.
Nor less the herds for coming rain prepare,
And sky-ward look, and snuff the showery air.
On walls the slimy-creeping snails abound,
And earth-worms trail their length, the entrails of
the ground;

The cock's young brood ply oft the pluming bill,

And chirp, as drops from eaves on tinkling drops




Bef. Ch. 256.


English Translators :


CALLIMACHUS was the son of Battus and Mesatma, and was born at Cyrene, a city of Africa. He taught letters at Alexandria, and was the preceptor of Apollonius Rhodius; with whom he was afterwards at variance, and whom he satirised in a poem called Ibis, or the Stork: which is now lost, but which is imitated by Ovid. He was keeper of the Alexandrian library, under Ptolemy Philadel

phus, and his son, Ptolemy Euergetes. Berenice, queen of the latter, having consecrated her hair in the temple of Venus, and the astronomers having flattered her by placing it among the constellations, Callimachus wrote a complimentary elegy on the occasion: which is known to us only by the Latin imitation of Catullus. He produced a variety of works; and wrote poems on celebrated historical characters, on stories of mythology, and subjects of natural history: exclusive of elegies, and dramas. Of all these numerous pieces we have only a few hymns and inscriptions.

Callimachus exhibits that pure and nervous simplicity, which is so remarkable in the Grecian poetry. His cast of thought is elevated and solemn. We are struck by the spirited enthusiasm of his manner; the richness and expansion of his imagination; the freshness of his painting, and the pomp of his imagery.




COME, all ye virgins of the bath! come forth,
Ye handmaids of Minerva! for I hear

The neighings of the sacred steeds: e'en now
The Goddess is at hand. Haste, hasten forth,
Maids of the yellow locks, Pelasgian maids!
Ne'er does Minerva lave her ample limbs,
Till from the loins of those her smoking steeds
She cleanse the dust away; nor yet returns,
Her weapons all with dust and gore defiled,
From slaughter of that impious, earth-born brood;
But first, at distance, loosens from the car
Her coursers' necks, and bathes in ocean's waves
Their dropping sweat, and from their bitted mouths
Clears the coagulated foam away.

Go forth, Achæan maids! nor let your


(I hear the rattling sound of ringing wheels)

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