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211th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: ELEGY FOR ORPHEUS (after Antipater of Sidon)

by Ciarán Parkes

οὐκέτι θελγομένας, Ὀρφεῦ, δρύας, οὐκέτι πέτρας
ἄξεις, οὐ θηρῶν αὐτονόμους ἀγέλας:
οὐκέτι κοιμάσεις ἀνέμων βρόμον, οὐχὶ χάλαζαν,
οὐ νιφετῶν συρμούς, οὐ παταγεῦσαν ἅλα.
ὤλεο γάρ: σὲ δὲ πολλὰ κατωδύραντο θύγατρες
Μναμοσύνας, μάτηρ δ᾽ ἔξοχα Καλλιόπα.
τί φθιμένοις στοναχεῦμεν ἐφ᾽ υἱάσιν, ἁνίκ᾽ ἀλαλκεῖν
τῶν παίδων Ἀΐδην οὐδὲ θεοῖς δύναμις

( Antipater of Sidon, late 2nd century BC)

ELEGY FOR ORPHEUS (after Antipater of Sidon)

The enchanted oaks, the rocks,
the animals no longer
move to your music, Orpheus,
they cannot be controlled.

No longer will you lull to sleep
wind, hail, snow, loud sea-wave,
now you are dead. The muses
cried over you a long time,

your mother, Calliope, leading them.
What good is it to mourn
our sons? We see how the gods
can't save their own children.

See all the entrants to 211th Weekly Poetry Contest