Coin with bee from Ancient Ephesus
Ancient Greek Epigrams
Bee from the Flowers
Bee, whom all flowers make welcome to their sweet,
Why an adventurer here, with clinging feet
And busy trunk soliciting the lip
That I alone am privileged to sip ?
Hence to thy hive, or stung thyself mayest be,
For Love has planted his own sting in me.
Sweet and Stinging Melissa
by Marcus Argentarius
Everything like the flower-loving bee
you are doing, my Melissa,
and I take it to my heart.
You drop honey from your lips
when you sweetly kiss,
and when you want money
you give me a mean sting.
Flower-fed bee, why touchest thou my Heliodora's skin,
Leaving outright the flower-bells of spring?
Meanest thou that even the unendurable sting of Love,
ever bitter to the heart, has a sweetness too?
Yes, I think, this thou sayest; ah, fond one,
go back again; we knew thy news long ago.
Why, bee, thy flowers forsaking, dost thou rove
And light upon the bosom of my love ?
Wouldst, honey-hoarding sting-bearer, express
That plenteous sweets, and much of bitterness
That bosom stores ? If such thine errand, flee
Back to thy hive, too long 'tis known to me.