Friday, January 7, 2011

Boothby: Simonides Shipwrecked

Plac'd where fate will, the wise can find
Resource perpetual in his mind.
Simonides, whose tuneful lyre
Joy and compassion could inspire,
Through Asia went from town to town,
Singing for money and renown,
Of those who conquer'd in the course.
His poverty by this resource
Was so reliev'd, with gifts he earn'd,
Rich tow'rds his Cea he return'd.
A tempest, as his voyage he made,
Attack'd the ship; with age decay'd
She founder'd: and each tried to save
Something of value from the wave.
One to Simonides then cried,
"You nothing take I" The sage replied,
"I take myself, I want no more."
With labour some attain'd the shore,
Others, with burdens charg'd, were drown'd;
And those who 'scap'd, by thieves were found.
Naked they reach'd the neighbouring town
Clazomene, of old renown.
A lover of poetic art,
Who knew Simonides by heart,
And long with ardour had desir'd
To see the man he most admir'd,
Delighted such a guest to have,
Clothes, money, all he wanted, gave.
The poet met his comrades, poor,
Begging for alms from door to door,
And said, "I told you, as you see,
I carry every thing with me."

Source: Boothby - Phaedrus 4.20.

(image source)
M0868 Perry519

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