the idylls of theocritus

Theocritus Idyll XVIII, Chorus and Musicians (1913). Sir William Russell Flint (Scottish, 1880-1969). Watercolour with bodycolour over pencil.

This is a design for an illustration in ‘The Idylls of Theocritus’ published in 1922, depicting the line 'Then sang they all in harmony, beating time with woven paces, and the house rang round with the tidal song.’

ἀλλὰ Σελάνα,
φαῖνε καλόν: τὶν γὰρ ποταείσομαι ἅσυχα, δαῖμον,
τᾷ χθονίᾳ θ᾽ ῾Εκάτα, τὰν καὶ σκύλακες τρομέοντι
ἐρχομέναν νεκύων ἀνά τ᾽ ἠρία καὶ μέλαν αἷμα.
χαῖρ᾽ ῾Εκάτα δασπλῆτι, καὶ ἐς τέλος ἄμμιν ὀπάδει.
φάρμακα ταῦτ᾽ ἔρδοισα χερείονα μήτέ τι Κίρκης
μήτέ τι Μηδείας μήτε ξανθᾶς Περιμήδας.

Oh Selene,
glow beautifully: for you I softly sing, goddess,
and for Hecate of the depths, who makes dogs shiver
as she rises from the dead, through barrows and black blood.
Hail, frightful Hecate, and go with me to the end,
making these charms inferior to none of Circe’s,
Medea’s, or tawny-haired Perimede’s.

Theocritus, Idylls 2.10-16