Lumine Acon dextre,capta est Leonilla sinistre, Et potis est forma vincere uterque dees: Blande puer, lumen quod habes concede sorori, Sic tu cæcus Amor, sic erit illa Venus. Acon his right, Leonilla her left eye Doth want; yet each in form, the gods out-vie. Sweet boy, with thine, thy sisters sight improved: So shall she Venus be, thou God of Love. Epigram said to be the most celebrated of modern epigrams, by Warton, in his Essay on Pope. I. P. 299. (Ed. 1772). Trans. as given in a Collection of Epigrams. Vol. I. No. 223.
Unlike my subject, I will make my song. It shall be witty, and it shant be long. Chesterfield. See note by Croker in Boswells Life of Johnson, July 19, 1763. (When Sir Thomas Robinson asked for an epigram on his friend Long.)
This picture, placd the busts between Gives Satire all its strength; Wisdom and Wit are little seen While Folly glares at length. Epigram on the portrait of Beau Nash placed between the busts of Pope and Newton in the Pump Room at Bath, England. Attributed to Lord Chesterfield by Dr. Matthew Maty in his Memoirs of Chesterfield. Sec. IV, prefixed to second ed. of Miscellaneous Works of the Earl of Chesterfield. Locker-Lampson credits only four of the lines of the whole epigram to Chesterfield. Jane Brereton given credit for them. (See poems. 1744.) A copy of the poems of Henry Norris (1740) in the British Museum contains the lines. See Notes and Queries, Feb. 10, 1917. P. 119; also Aug., 1917. P. 379.
Report says that you, Fidentinus, recite my compositions in public as if they were your own. If you allow them to be called mine, I will send you my verses gratis; if you wish them to be called yours, pray buy them, that they may be mine no longer. MartialEpigrams. Bk. I. Ep. 29.
You are pretty,we know it; and young,it is true; and rich,who can deny it? But when you praise yourself extravagantly, Fabulla, you appear neither rich, nor pretty, nor young. MartialEpigrams. Bk. I. Ep. 64.
Whats this that myrrh doth still smell in thy kiss, And that with thee no other odour is? Tis doubt, my Postumus, he that doth smell So sweetly always, smells not very well. MartialEpigrams. Bk. II. Ep. 12.
In whatever place you meet me, Postumus, you cry out immediately, and your very first words are, How do you do? You say this, even if you meet me ten times in one single hour: you, Postumus, have nothing, I suppose, to do. MartialEpigrams. Bk. II. Ep. 67.
If you wish, Faustinus, a bath of boiling water to be reduced in temperature,a bath, such as scarcely Julianus could enter,ask the rhetorician Sabinæus to bathe himself in it. He would freeze the warm baths of Nero. MartialEpigrams. Bk. III. Ep. 25.
I could do without your face, and your neck, and your hands, and your limbs, and your bosom, and other of your charms. Indeed, not to fatigue myself with enumerating each of them, I could do without you, Chloe, altogether. MartialEpigrams. Bk. III. Ep. 53.
Do you wonder for what reason, Theodorus, notwithstanding your frequent requests and importunities, I have never presented you with my works? I have an excellent reason; it is lest you should present me with yours. MartialEpigrams. Bk. V. Ep. 73.
You ask for lively epigrams, and propose lifeless subjects. What can I do, Cæcilianus? You expect Hyblæn or Hymethian honey to be produced, and yet offer the Attic bee nothing but Corsican thyme? MartialEpigrams. Bk. XI. Ep. 42.
When to secure your bald pate from the weather, You lately wore a cap of black neats leather; He was a very wag, who to you said, Why do you wear your slippers on your head? MartialEpigrams. Bk. XII. Ep. 45. Trans. by Hay.
Sir Drake whom well the worlds end knew Which thou didst compass round, And whom both Poles of heaven once saw Which North and South do bound, The stars above would make thee known, If men here silent were; The sun himself cannot forget His fellow traveller. John OwenEpigram on Sir Francis Drake. Pt. II. 39 of first volume dedicated to Lady Mary Neville. Trans. by Cowley. See Grossarts ed. of Cowley. Vol. I. P. 156.
Some learned writers have compared a Scorpion to an Epigram because as the sting of the Scorpion lyeth in the tayl, so the force and virtue of an epigram is in the conclusion. TopsellSerpent. P. 756. (1653).
The qualities all in a bee that we meet, In an epigram never should fail; The body should always be little and sweet, And a sting should be felt in its tail. Attributed to Yriarte by Brander MatthewsAmerican Epigrams. Harpers Monthly, Nov., 1903.