Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon 7.4.3-6
A little psychological reflection.
ἦλθε δέ μοι τότε δάκρυα καὶ τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς τὴν λύπην ἀπεδίδουν. ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐν ταῖς τοῦ σώματος πληγαῖς οὐκ εὐθὺς ἡ σμῶδιξ ἐπανίσταται, ἀλλὰ παραχρῆμα μὲν οὐκ ἔχει τὸ ἄνθος ἡ πληγή, μετὰ μικρὸν δὲ ἀνέθορε, καὶ ὀδόντι συός τις παταχθεὶς εὐθὺς μὲν ζητεῖ τὸ τραῦμα καὶ οὐκ οἶδεν εὑρεῖν, τὸ δὲ ἔτι δέδυκε καὶ κέκρυπται κατειργασμένον σχολῇ τῆς πληγῆς τὴν τομήν, μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ ἐξαίφνης λευκή τις ἀνέτειλε γραμμή, πρόδρομος τοῦ αἵματος, σχολὴν δὲ ὀλίγην λαβὸν ἔρχεται καὶ ἀθρόον ἐπιρρεῖ, οὕτω καὶ ψυχὴ παταχθεῖσα τῷ τῆς λύπης βέλει τοξεύσαντος λόγου τέτρωται μὲν ἤδη καὶ ἔχει τὴν τομήν, ἀλλὰ τὸ τάχος τοῦ βλήματος οὐκ ἀνέῳξεν οὔπω τὸ τραῦμα, τὰ δὲ δάκρυα ἐδίωξε τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν μακράν· δάκρυον γὰρ αἷμα τραύματος ψυχῆς. ὅταν ὁ τῆς λύπης ὀδοὺς κατὰ μικρὸν τὴν καρδίαν ἐκφάγῃ, κατέρρηκται μὲν τῆς ψυχῆς τὸ τραῦμα, ἀνέῳκται δὲ τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡ τῶν δακρύων θύρα, τὰ δὲ μετὰ μικρὸν τῆς ἀνοίξεως ἐξεπήδησεν. οὕτω κἀμὲ τὰ μὲν πρῶτα τῆς ἀκροάσεως τῇ ψυχῇ προσπεσόντα καθάπερ τοξεύματα κατεσίγασε καὶ τῶν δακρύων ἀπέφραξε τὴν πηγήν, μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ ἔρρει, σχολασάσης τῆς ψυχῆς τῷ κακῷ.
Then my tears came and granted grief to my eyes. For, just as, when the body has been hit, a bruise does not immediately rise up, but the blow doesn’t get its bloom straight away, then after a little while rises up – and just as when someone who’s been slashed by a boar’s tusk looks at once for the wound but cannot find it (for it has gone down deep and it effects the cutting of the blow undercover and at its leisure), and afterwards a white line suddenly appears, the harbinger of blood, and following a short pause the blood comes and flows in abundance – so too the soul, when struck by the dart of grief that has been dispatched from a story, is wounded and already carries the cut; but because of its speed the injury has not yet opened up the wound, and the tears from the eyes follow a long way behind. For tears are the blood of a wounded soul. When the tusk of grief eats away, little by little, at the heart, the soul’s wound bursts open, the door of tears opens in the eyes, and shortly afterwards they escape through the opening. In such a way in my case too, my first hearing of the story fell upon my soul just like arrows, leaving me silent and blocked off the source of my tears; but afterwards they flowed, when my soul had respite from its trouble.