Renæssanceforum 12 • 2017
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Finn Gredal Jensen
Et græsk epigram af Poul Martin Møller

A Greek Epigram by Poul Martin Møller
In 1838 the Danish magazine Kjøbenhavns Natkikkert published an anecdote concerning an occasion when King Christian VII had boarded a new ship called "The Queen" that was being launched. The king allowed the poet Johan Herman Wessel to come on board on the condition that he improvise some verses. This impromptu poem, presumably wrongly attributed to Wessel, begins: "When the King mounted the Queen, a scoundrel also sneaked on board," which undoubtedly alludes to Struensee's affair with Queen Caroline Mathilde. This anecdote was of course known much earlier, and in 1822 Poul Martin Møller had translated or paraphrased the verses into a Greek epigram in Homeric style. The article presents the anecdote and analyses the poem, also including its wider context, Møller's Homer translations.