where, tell me where, do you fly from?
And why do you breathe out so much perfume,
sprinkling it as you rush
along in the air?
Who are you? What are you doing?
"Anacreon sent me
to his beloved boy, to Bathyllus,
the one who now rules over all men, even over tyrants.
The Cytherean one has sold me,
receiving in exchange a little song;
but I, for Anacreon,
perform so many services.
Right now, as you see,
I am conveying a letter of his.
Yet he says that straightaway
he will make me a free bird.
But even if he lets me go,
I will remain a slave at his side.
Why should I fly away
into the hills, across the fields,
just to perch in trees
and peck at some course fodder?
As for now, I dine on bread,
eagerly snatching it from the hands
of Anacreon himself;
for drink he gives me
the wine which he tastes first,
and drinking it down I dance with joy,
and as my master strikes the lyre
I shade him with my wings.
As he falls asleep,
I slumber on the lyre itself.
You have it all now - "