Quae olim virgineis propitiabam palmis
Cypriam, et cum taedis etiam prolem precabar,
nuptiales iam thalamo solvens tunicas,
viri statim e femoribus edidi formas:
ac sponsus ex sponsa vocor, et post Aphroditam
Martem et aras redimio Herculis.
Thebae Tiresiam narrabant olim; nunc vero me Chalcis
illam prius in mitra salutavit in chlamyde.
ἅ ποτε παρθενικαῖσιν ἱλασκομένα παλάμῃσιν
Κύπριδα, σὺν πεύκαις καὶ γάμον εὐξαμένα,
κουριδίους ἤδη θαλάμῳ λύσασα χιτῶνας,
ἀνδρὸς ἄφαρ μηρῶν ἐξελόχευσα τύπους:
νυμφίος ἐκ νύμφης δὲ κικλήσκομαι, ἐκ δ᾽ Ἀφροδίτης
Ἄρεα καὶ βωμοὺς ἔστεφον Ἡρακλέους.
Θῆβαι Τειρεσίην ἔλεγόν ποτε: νῦν δέ με Χαλκὶς
τὴν πάρος ἐν μίτραις ἠσπάσατ᾽ ἐν χλαμύδι.
--Evenus, Greek Anthology IX.603; translated into Latin by Friedrich Duebner, 1872
I who once raised my virgin hands
In worship of Aphrodite, I who often prayed
For a wedding and a pregnancy,
I who laid aside my wedding gown
and entered a marriage bed,
I—suddenly transformed into a man’s body
(ἀνδρὸς… τύπους, a man’s shape).
And now I am called “groom,” not “bride,”
And I no longer worship Aphrodite, but
Ares & Hercules!
Long ago, the Thebans told the story of Tiresias:
Now Chalcis will tell my story,
Who went from ball gown to baseball cap.*
* The original poem uses gendered articles of clothing as contrasting imagery of the transformation
Works: Greek Anthology; Anthologia Graeca; Florilegii Graecii
The Greek Anthology is a modern collection of Greek lyric poetry compiled from various sources over the course of Greco-Roman literature. The current collection was created from two major sources, one from the 10th century CE and one from the 14th century CE. The anthology contains authors spanning the entirety of Greek literature, from archaic poets to Byzantine Christian poets.
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