Saturday, January 29, 2011

Boothby: Demetrius and Menander

Demetrius, Phalareus surnam'd,
For conquering Athens' freedom fam'd,
The populace, as is their way,
Still ran to meet with loud huzza,
While humbl'd nobles kiss'd the hand
That held them in despotic band.
And they, submissive to their fate,
Groaning in secret o'er their state,
Who liv'd retir'd, would oft resort,
For fear of blame, to pay their court.
With these one day Menander came;
Whose comic scenes, well known to fame,
Demetrius with delight had read,
But knew him not. With frizzl'd head,
Dropping perfumes, in silken vest,
Soft, languid step, and all the rest
That marks loose manners, from afar
The tyrant saw the man appear.
"Who is that pathic wretch," said he,
"Dares thus present himself to me?"
"Sir, 'tis Menander, of renown
For writing comedies," says one.
"Bid him come forward from the crowd;
Much to a man may be allow'd,
Whose merits we so justly prize,"
Replied the Prince; " but I advise,
The rest of you should never try,
Public opinion to defy."

Source: Boothby - Phaedrus 5.1.

(image source: Menander)

(not in Mille) Perry523

No comments:

Post a Comment