Epigrams of Plato

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Star-gazing Aster, would I were the skies,
To gaze upon thee with a thousand eyes.


Among the living once the Morning Star,
Thou shin'st, now dead, like Hesper from afar.


Tears from their birth the lot had been
Of Ilium's daughters and their queen.
By thee, O Dion, great deeds done
New hopes and larger promise won.
Now here thou liest gloriously,
How deeply loved, how mourned by me.


Now, when Alexis is of no account, I have said no more than this. He is fair to see, and everywhere all eyes are turned upon him. Why, my heart, do you show the dogs a bone? And then will you smart for this hereafter? Was it not thus that we lost Phaedrus?


I have a mistress, fair Archeanassa of Colophon, on whose very wrinkles sits hot love. O hapless ye who met such beauty on its first voyage, what a flame must have been kindled in you!


While kissing Agathon, my soul leapt to my lips, as if fain, alas! to pass over to him.


I throw an apple to you and, if indeed you are willing to love me, then receive it and let me taste your virgin charms. But if you are otherwise minded, which heaven forbid, take this very apple and see how short-lived all beauty is.


An apple am I, thrown by one who loves you. Nay, Xanthippe, give consent, for you and I are both born to decay.


We are Eretrians by race, from Euboea, and lie near Susa. How far, alas, from our native land!


A certain person found some gold,
Carried it off and, in its stead,
Left a strong halter, neatly rolled.
The owner found his treasure fled,
And, daunted by his fortune's wreck,
Fitted the halter to his neck.

An additional eight epigrams are ascribed to Plato, but a public domain translation is needed.


  1. This is substantially different from other translations, but based on the same text.