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ANACREONTICA, BOOK I

1. ABOUT HIMSELF

spacerVertumnus, a thousand times won over with love, took on a thousand faces, and as did Thetis when she tried to cast off Peleus’ arms, and Proteus, skilled at hiding under a thousand thousand varied shapes. But that whole crew must confess itself bested and grant me the palm. blue For I shall easily surpass the ruler of the Carpathian Sea, Metra, Thetis, and he who was overcome by the love of Pomona. While I drench my cheeks with a rain, you would swear my tears were those of Simonides. blue Or if I rejoice at my leisure, or happily kiss, I should be the very father of kissing, a sweet little Catullus. Give me a quill and a lyre, then I shall rival Pindar. Set a trumpet to my lips and I will become Smyrna’s bard. blue. Then injure me, and you will have the very father-in-law of impious Lycambes. blue But Love, mighty Love, has summoned me to serious enterprises has always led the power of my talent to his camp, where, when my wine-soaked locks are bound with garlands of rose and myrtle, he bids me be Anacreon.”
spacerHe must love and he must drink. blue Do not forbid me, my friends, do not forbid me to love our thus to drink down pleasant Lyaeus in great gulps. I want to feel this frenzy.spacerFlee far away, you severe Cares, blue you Cares begone, you C ares who are the children of Night and shadowy Erebus, and, marching in a crowd, move on, pray move on to men whose heads are whitened by hoary locks and have need of a trusty staff. It behooves the young to bind their heads with playful garlands, and eagerly to balance a gentle little mistress on their lap.
spacerAnd why, I ask, should I care for this? My life hurries along on swift feet, bringing burdensome old age and a thousand concerns, and at the same time the cares of a thousand evils.
spacerObserve whether my mistress’ little lips heal these things. But see, they suddenly repay mine with three hundred kesses. Or observe whether this bowl full wine which I am crowning is healing. But it is foaming with Lyaeus. So henceforth, my friends, do not prevent me to love, or thus to consume Lyaeus in great gulps. I want to indulge this madness.
spacerTo his mistress, in exchange for her kisses. blue Come, sweet girl, offer me your fiery lips, and do not blush to thrill me with the sweet nectar of your kisses. And so, my little dove, come hither which those little lips which cling as close as a limpet, blue and with your sweet breath inhale the soul which flies from me as it comes seeking after you. Thus I pray. But what’s this? Why hide your fiery lips, sweet girl? Why flee me, separating me from your lips? Is this how to show favor to a lover? Do you thus pertly tease me? Is this how you wantonly torment me? If the kiss which you gave me was meant to keep me from kissing you any more, you should keep me away from your lips. It is less harmful not to know what pleasure is than to know but be unable to achieve it.spacerOh most most troublesome care! Oh pleasure which has scarcely begun and yet is conjoined with pain! Oh kiss, but one which is not what this kiss of hers is, but that which the power of my deep desire would wish to exist in one! blue

2. TO HIS COMPANIONS

spacerHeaven embraces and cherishes the glittering stars, the world does the same for its globe, fire blue for airs, airs for waters, waters for the capacious hollows of the earth, and the earth for men and beasts. So, oh my companions, why forbid me to embrace my girl?

3. CUPID THE PLOUGHMAN

spacerHis quiver stripped off and his bow set aside, Cupid suddenly began to put his hand to the share of a plough. Although the god wanted to till the soil of his fields, when he searched his lands for a bull, in all the field there were no cattle. He peevishly looked up at his father’s fiery home. saying “what need is there for me to apply myself to this earth when for my sake Olympus contains a snorting bull?” blue
spacerHe invites his companions to a drinking-bout. blue Oh comrades, a dipsas snake blue has bitten me, come hither. We should be in our cups. For I am suffering a thirst such as the father of Pelops blue endured amidst the renewing waters, or that drunken, idle sleep which a huntsman suffers when a panther, always yoked to a tiger, pulls Lyaeus’ proud car.
spacerBut where is that girl who yesterday wrapped her arms around my neck and blessed me with twice three thousand kisses as I was drinking here? I swear by the companions of Iacchus, blue Venus and Eros, I swear by headstrong Youth, and by the bright Charms together with the Graces, unless she does appear on swift feet, I shall shatter these wine-jugs and cups and ruin Lyaeus himself.
spacerFor what’s the advantage for a poet who does not know how to wrap his head with wreathes? Of what’s the advantage if he drinks without a girl to coddle him? For these things are always bound together by a strong link and inseparable: the lover, the drinker, and the poet.

4. ONE MUST HOPE

spacerWhat exists now that finds it did not exist before? What exists now which will not exist when the future rolls around? Everywhere, what you now see will disappear and will cease to be. But likewise that which does not exist will suddenly revive, and then perish. Thus nothing is old or new.
spacer So we must be hopeful. If something is going badly now, someday it will not be so.

5. HE CANNOT BE BOUND BY A SINGLE LOVE

spacerNo one shape sets heaven and earth off to best advantage, no single virtue of the skies, nor one mind of men. Change is welcome and beloved in all things, but alteration is most dear in loving alone.
spacerYou girl, you queen of my mind, you cannot promise yourself that you will possess such realms when the evening star shines. You have no idea what the hour, or the following day, will bring, what good things or furies will move me tomorrow. If you desire me to be yours forever, make sure that no pretty , weet girl takes precedence before you. Or, if such there be, make sure that the proud, winged boy, mighty with his arrows, does not chose to strike me with his dart. If you manage this, I shall hang from these lips of yours, I shall take my inspiration from these dear eyes, and you alone of all the girls will possess all my passions.
spacerBut now I am playful Cupid’s single target. As many missiles as he shoots, so many frenzies I feel, so that I shall cease to love when Love empties all the arrows from his quiver.

6. HARMED BY EXCESSIVE WINE, HE COMPLAINS

spacerYou who are wise should shun Lyaeus, for he is a goat bearing a hank of hay on his sharp horn. blue You who are wise should shun Lyaeus, for when I was in my cups he evilly destroyed me with his deceit and his wiles. Recently, while I was drunk, he goaded me into singing and dancing on my stumbling feet. But I had scarcely come forward and danced a single step when that rascal knocked me flat, raising a laugh among the onlookers.
spacerSo then I cursed Lyaeus, so then I cursed his dancing. But what’s the point in having wished much evil for Lyaeus and his dancing, if in the meantime I have become a byword and a laughing-stock for the onlookers?
spacerSo as far as I am concerned adieu, Lyaeus, with your deceptions and your dancing. Henceforth I shall fear and avoid you. But, oh you who are wise should shun harmful Lyaeus.

7. ON THE BACCHANTES AND SILENUS

spacerIn my sleep I saw the son of Semele. blue Following the god were a throng of thrysus-wielding satyrs and Pan, playing a country song with puffed-up cheeks. Surrounding them on all sides, Maenads were thumping on their hollow drums, and amongst them Priapus marched along, his weapon flaccid. Last of all came old Silenus, perched atop a sluggish donkey. At his side a goblet hung by its handle, and he was drying off his beard and his wet stub of a nose, dripping because of his laughter. blue
spacerBut oh you gods and goddesses, from this parent-nose what a brood of little red noses is now descended!

8. LOVE’S WOUNDING, RECEIVED FROM A KISS

spacerWhen first I carelessly beheld those wanton eyes, those cheeks tinged with the rose’s scarlet and the white color of the lily, blue when first I carelessly beheld those lips, frantic at having been smitten by love’s heavy arrow, in my unhappiness I groaned, imagining those men would be blessed who were allowed to kiss those lips, those dear round eyes, and the flowers of her cheeks.
spacerBut when sly Cupid placed me close to these things under no happy auspices, granting me to kiss those tender, ruddy lips and dear round eyes, and the flowers of her cheeks, alas, I helplessly received his deadly dart, which has now passed through my marrow and inmost being and with its wounding has caused the fibers of my heart to ache.
spacerThus, alas, I am compelled to feel pain and joy at the same time. But my pain appears destined to be everlasting, while all my joy has suddenly fled on quick feet, so that you might say that I always feel the pain of Philomela, but rejoice with the damaging joy of a moth. blue

9. TO NEAERA

spacerWould, Neaera, that I were suddenly made the threshold and wall of your bedchamber, so that I might always be near you! Would that I were your garment, to clothe your tender limbs, hiding your ivory breasts behind my clasp! Would that I were your turtle-dove, your dove, or the puppy asleep in your lap! Would that I were the loop of your sandal, binding both your dainty feet, and your ring, binding your round, slender and elegant finger! Would that I could stand as the bedpost at the foot of your couch! Would, Neaera, that I could be Leech within your bed!

10. ON A PRETTY GIRL

spacerA pretty girl is an Underworld, so help me the god of Delius, so help me Cythere’s blue boy, and so may Lyaeus be favorable. A pretty girl is an Underworld.
spacerFor her tresses are a forest devoted to the mistress of Dis. blue Her brow is a river-bank and her cheeks its streams: of these the former move and the latter stay still. In these, Cupid is a Charon, hope his skiff, and death his pole. A pretty girl is an Underworld.
spacerNow you’ll swear her lips, those soft little lips, are the outer gates of the realms below. Her tongue is that three-headed dog lolling at the threshold of the dark cavern, either challenging those who come close or fawningly showing them favor. Her neck is the way to the dwelling-place of evils, it is a sad chaos where Tantalus, blue near at hand, grasps at a fleeting shade, where there exist the naughty sons of Aeolus and Belus’ long list of daughters. A pretty girl is an Underworld.
spacerAbove these things is a clear sky, flourishing with violets and roses and the honor of the sweet springtime. The air is always serene, the lawn is always blessed, being the Field of the Blessed. Here dear sweat breasts rise equally into the air like a little pair of twin hillocks,. Fair Venus always rules the left, and her son the right.
spacerFurther down is a plain, moderately swelling on this side and on that, being bent into the shape of a bow. Where it ceases its swelling is the blessed grove of Venus, thriving with laurel and myrtle. There every crew of lovers disports itself, plays, and locates its loving. There they exert themselves, and the fierce of ardor of Venus subsides. There exists there neither neither the first nor the last, but that which is the bond of love. But why do I mention these things? So let every one of the gods help me, a pretty girl is an Underworld.

11. ON THE DEATH OF A WINE-JUG, TO BACCHUS

spacerDo you see these things, oh Lyaeus, and yet do not punish this hopeless henchman of Hell according to the severity of your laws?
spacerWith a furious hand that man, that scoundrel, dashed down your wine-jug. It fell flat, spilling a river of blood from its neck, and with its last complaint it accused him of the crime. But that triple-dyed villain hastened to deny the deed, saying that when that jug, quite drunken with your liquor, tried to join our lively dancing, it stumbled and fell into death’s heavy sleep.
spacerBut while it can be done, Lyaeus, you father of that cheerful jug, fetch the god from the city of Epidaurus. blue For the hearts and hands of our Melampuses fail when the wine-jug fails.

12. WORDS SPOKEN WHILE DRINKING

spacerGreat Fortune is blind. Those who are happy are blind, a ruler’s court renders those it favors quite blind,. and he who is all-conquering sees nought but his money-chests and King Gold. My own money-chest is empty and no gold remains therein. What then? Shall I grieve? Not at all. Rather, sitting by this cask of Falernian blue let me drink, let me freely drink .Come, join me in making good cheer, Fortune, king and court. If I linger here longer, we’ll all go blind

13. ON HIS GIRL FRIEND

spacerGasping, I was fending off the noontime glare under the shade of a leafy holm-oak, when, behold, my darling made an appearance and, catching sight of me, smiled gently. But I said, “You take pleasure in seeing me suffering and fuming. Thus you hurtfully laugh at me. But I have been escaping Apollo’s fire in this friendly shade. Your sudden appearance annoys me while I am heated, as you scorch me with your worse fire. Take your heat far away, Melissa, take it far away. For if you loiter here with me any longer, this will triple my former warmth.”

14. TO HIS MIND

spacerYou, my mind, ought to raise your head from the deep sea of your sorrows. Why are you downcast and becloud my Muses? Why has your ardor chilled or diminished? If you are wise, blame it all on our supreme Thunderer. for the Wheel of Fortune is wont to roll and return in accordance with his will.
spacerThe day, arising ruddy from its night-time bed, bids you be hopeful, so you will be able to be more hopeful that all will go well. And do not be surprised by anything, not even if the dolphin abandons the ever-resounding water of the sea and desires to enter the dark lairs of the beasts of the dry land’s beasts; or if they, for their part, quit their caves and come to love the wet waters. Blind Fortune plays her uncontrolled game, unfairly taking from this one and giving to that one at whim. Why does it behoove you to care about honors. Let them care who must, old men destined for the Acheron and that harsh crew of the greedy. It behooves you to clasp a fair girl to your breast and drink down a thousand cups of elegant wine, devoting your flourishing youth to Venus and Bacchus.
spacerAnd why do you austerely shun Apollo and the nine goddess? Why shun the Graces and Mother Cythere with her son? Beware lest the wrath of so many gods disturb you and (like a mountain goat caught by a pack of hounds atop a peak because of its strong scent) you pay the penalty for your flight, so that you are compelled to love a woman who disdains you and your complaints, so that, more unruly than a donkey, you become a byword to the common folk, and so that yo u become burdensome to those who were formerly your dear companions.
spacerSo that these mighty gods do not visit all these evils on you, banish your serious cares with plenty of wine, song, kisses, and a lot of laughter.

ANACREONTICA. BOOK II

1. HE SHOULD BE FREE FOR HIS AMOURS

spacerWhy, my mind, undertake this useless effort? Leave Cythere and her games, and Love with his darts. You should devote your time to more serious efforts. The hour flies by and old age will impend when your ardor chills. Neither roses with their delicate petals, nor the welcome scents of lilies last forever. Not forever does the fragrant springtime zephyr crown the fields with various colors. Nothing endures, or remain fixed in one course forever by Him Who alone hears all things contained in eternity.
spacerBut why do I ask the man tormented by a harsh disease to be healthy, rather than hasten to relieve the pain of his ill with medications? Ah me! What cure can be found for a wounded heart? What Machaon blue will remove the dart fixed deep in the breast? When my darling crinkles her eyes and smiles, what will relieve me of this pain and loving frenzy?
spacerIf any man heeds this, I shall call him the god of my life and straightway abandon Cythere with her son. But since it belongs to no man to alter his ultimate fate, I shall cleave to golden Cythere, I shall cleave to her son.
spacerAnd so I am bound to love and devote my leisure to amours. Willy nilly, this idle occupation will ruin me.

2. THE LAWS OF DRINKING

spacerHear, my friends, why I, the umpire of playful Lycaeus, announces these laws. Our republic is to us what exceedingly noble Athens was to Dracon and Solon, lofty Rome was to Numa, and keen Sparta to Lycurgus. blue
spacerFirst of all, let the gods be present and well-disposed to our undertakings, and Father Bacchus, Cythere, Cupid amd the Graces with their thousand games, jokes and delights, and all their laughter. But I beg that Mars, his crest stiff with blood, and his arms keep away a little while, taking away with himself his quarrels and those evil sisters with their snaky locks. Or if anybody here is austere, let him decamp. This tavern is consecrated only to the cheerful. Then let each man arm himself with a cup, heavy and deep. Let us all join together in Bacchus’ sweet competition, after each man’s cup stands drenched with Lyaeus. Then let Phemius, blue standing close at hand, sing the ancient capture of Troy or the voyage of Ulysses.
spacerHe who slips up in his talk or his walk will be accounted worthless, but the man who is free of all puking and remains strong and sturdy to the very end, well able to gulp down many a full goblet while leaving nothing behind, and who will give a sample of fine Falernian onto the ground, this man, my friends, who has bested all the rest will go home with his hair bound with a wreath, and as his prize will win an elegant girl together with a hundred kisses.

3. SMALL THINGS ARE NOT TO BE DISDAINED

spacerDo not disdain me, girl, seeing me to be small and short. Cythere’s son is small but governs all the world. And sparrows are small, but golden ones pull Dione’s blue car through the rosy air. And the nightingale is small, as the bird of Gradivus, blue and yet the one puts lions to rout and the other is all-conquering with its voice. Father Lyaeus, that child of Semele and Jove, was small, but the little vine benefits us with its sweet juice. A precious gem is small, as is that little fellow who decorates the fields with worms late at night, blue and the strength of a little loitering moray eel is great.
spacerWhy say more? You see that lions are smaller than elephants, and that the bird which bears Jove’s forked weaponry aloft stands no higher than a camel with its alternating gait. And pleasure itself, seductive Dione’s sweet gift, does not endure.
spacerSo let me kiss you, and permit me to embrace you with these short arms of mine. For then, Rhodanthe, then you will say that, just as I am a dwarf in body, so am I a giant in love.

4. ON CUPID AND HIMSELF

spacerOnce upon when I was a lad at leisure and was hunting Love amongst the roses, I caught sight of him hiding and suddenly unlimbered by light darts, But he playfully began a plentiful flapping of his feathers , hopped hither and thither, and tweeted plentifully. Cheated of my hope, I quickly turned backwards, ashamed at have sought to kill this playful bird. But, seeing me turn away, that rascal suddenly sprang out of concealment and flew at me from the left, and as I departed escorted me with much laughter, saying “Boy, did you seek to shoot me with those arrows of yours? Maybe the hour will come when he who flees will do the attacking.”

5. TO BACCHUS

spacer Our cups and our garlands woven out of linden leaves summon you. We, your servants, beseech you with our dry mouths.
spacerCome hither, oh sweet Lyaeus. Come hither, Lyaeus. And with you may a tolerably safe Cypris come, and the kindly Loves, the Jokes and Elegances, and the three Graces, their girdles loosened. spacerCome hither, oh sweet Lyaeus. Come hither, Lyaeus. But, oh Lyaeus, after our quarrels and naughty pursuits, banish the austere Naiads far from this tavern, and remove the fearful horns from your bull-like face. But a horn is most welcome for drinking Falernian. blue Thus come, oh sweet Lyaeus. Come thus, Lyaeus.
spacerFor the use of the former harms cheerful poets, but now we have such a great, well-disposed supply of the latter that you would imagine all Menalcus’ blue cattle have come here to join me in a drink. .Come hither, oh sweet Lyaeus. Come hither, Lyaeus.

6. READY FOR EITHER

spacerJoin me, my friend, in drinking, friend, and join me in joking. Join in binding your loosened locks with a garland. Join me as a lover and kiss this Lyde. Join me, my friend, in going mad. But then, when I am in my right mind, you too must abandon the wine, the jokes, and the amours. If these things strike you as a harsh lot, henceforth quit our friendship.
spacerFor I am like a sea-urchin, ready for all storms. Amidst bevies of drinkers, I will seem to be Evam, blue yet in the company of the sober I shall remain abstemious. Come, suddenly twist yourself into all manner of strange figures, and you will find me copying each one of them.
spacerThus it seems best to accommodate yourself to the time. If you love life and love consorting with so many men, you must belong to yourself, so that you seem the single one of them all. Let oblivion of them all lay hold of you, so you are not oblivious of yourself.
spacerFor it is thrice-perilous to be a simple man. So do not be a fool, who has purchased for himself only one of Proteus’ skins.

7. TO VULCAN

spacerMake me a cup, Mulciber, you husband of Cythere, make me a deep cup, silver below and gold above. Carve Phoebus and the Hours one side, and the moon and stars on the other.
spacerBut what need have we drinkers for Phoebus or his sister? Come, Mulciber, you husband of Cythere, give me a picture of a playful Cupid, erasing Phoebus and the Hours. And in its silver bottom show me Glycera, erasing the moon and the starrs. Thus this work will do more to please its owner when he drinks.
spacerBut this cup could well do without the boy. So only make my mistress Glycere, Mulciber, you husband of Cythere. For she is Phoebus, and Phoebus’ kindly sister. She is Dione’s boy, weighed down with his swift arrows.
spacerAnd furthermore I pray you, Mulciber, you husband of Cythere, while you are wholly caught up in decorating it, giver her hanging tresses, give her crowns and garlands, and show violets and roses gradually flowing over her neck, her chest and snow-white breasts down to her feet. And let her right hand not be empty, but rather let it clasp a heavy deep cup, a cup foaming with Lyaeus, so that we may sport together, drink together, go mad together, and be drunken together.

8. A SINGLE KISS

spacerLet me kiss these soft little lips again and again, and even more, if anything more can exist. But (ah me!), why avert your face and bashfully cast down those dear, modest eyes, unconcerned about lifting them from the ground? Are you ashamed of my kisses, my darling? Are you so harsh that you will reget to have a harvest of Hymettan honey blue harvested from these little lips?
spacerIf so many can do harm (as many as perchance his Lesbia offered to Catullus and Neaera did to her gentle Secundus), blue I shall not ask for so many but only one, I shall depart content with one, nor shall I insist on kissing more kisses. But I shall always ask for one more from your lips, and then one more, and after that for one, and one, and one, and one moreover, and one. I shall be asking for one more to be given until, exhausted by all these ones, by all the gods you will swear that you don’t want to be kissed with one kiss at a time, but by many, taken from the same three thousand of kisses without end.

9. A DREAM
To William Drummond of Hathornden blue

spacerBut what kind of dream is this, my friend? What do you say to this, Drummond, you darling of poets, you essence of the Graces, you beloved of Cythere?
spacerNow night was moving over the land spread out below it, slowly plying it wings, and, head hung downward, Ursa Major was circling sluggish Bootes. Now everything lay beneath a blanket of sweet repose. Rubbing their beaks together, two chirping little sparrows went before the Mother and her Son, happily pulling their swift chariot. Around the goddess flew Pleasure, a thousand Kisses, Laughter, Sporting, Whispers, the three Graces, and a thousand thousand Loves, together with Hope, Murmurs, and the Desires of Beauty.
spacerSuddenly we arrived at happy Tempe, blue where the finest arrangement of parti-colored flowers crowns the fields. There Zephyr perennially waxes warm with its sweet breeze. There the god’s consortblue eases labor with her song.
spacerThe lawn of the greensward, consecrated to the gods, received me, and an unshorn grove, where the water of a clean, pure fountain gushed forth. This seemed to me to occupy the center of the dark grove. “Hey, poet, make now. Now you must make,” said Cythere’s boy. blue “Water and an altar is close by, as are a sacrificial victim and fragrant odors.”
spacerAt the god’s behest I willingly left the car and, falling to my knees at the fountain’s bank, saluted the guardian spirit of the place and all the Naiads. But, above all the rest, I prayed the fountain’s nymph to be propitious: “You goddess of this fountain, oh hear me. Grant us to drink your sacred waters, we humbly ask you, and be friendly to those desiring to make sacrifice to fostering Cythere”
spacerSeeming to hear me, the goddess stirred the living waters, at the same time nodding her assent. But then, as I energetically began to drink the waters I sought, suddenly she embraced me, gripping me tight in her ivory arms. blue At the same time I stuck fast in Dione’s glue, and I passed heated, erratic breaths in and out of my lips.
spacerBut from afar the gods, Venus and jolly Love, not ignorant of the future, laughed, and flying off through the grove and through Tempe, cried Hylas, Hylas. blue And likewise that sweet dream suddenly fled, and left me, ruined, amidst those blessed waters.
spacer But I ask you, my friend, in the name of your amiable mistress and whatever of the gods exists, what manner of dream is this?

 

10. ON CUPID FISHING blue

spacer When Cythere’s golden, winged son was wandering along the shore, he found a skiff abandoned by some fishing servants. So he swiftly used its pole to push himself into the open water, and, his hands always pulled all the way back to his chest, he proudly shot forward with his rowing. When the crookbacked man blue saw him out on the deep, he sent a dolphin flying across the expanse of the water with its speedy fin, and reported the danger to the great consort of Jove of the Sea, blue and said to the goddess of the deep , “Bring aid to your subjects, we are all being burned by him, we are burning with the fire which destroyed the high Thunderer.” To him replied the goddess of the deep, with a pleasant smile and keeping her countenance serene, “Be at lease for it is possible that this boy is seeking refuge with us, as once he did when he feared the wrath of the Giants.” blue

11. ON HIMSELF, DRUNKEN

spacerAntiquity tells us that there were several Jupiters, and several Apollos, Venuses, and Cupids with their little arrows, and also that there was no single lord of the deep sea, nor a single royal Dis at whom Tartarus trembled. Who can say if all this is true? He who fails to see to see that here Leech is Lyaeus?

12. TO THE EVENING STAR

spacerHail, evening star, evening star hail, oh kindly light of heaven and captain of the glittering stars, whose ranks you always muster and rout, being the first and the last of them all, as (not named by the same name) blue in your swift car you carry the shadows of night and the brilliance of the sunny day.
spacerWho in the sky is kinder or more delightful? You are all-bringing, evening star. You bring the gifts of peace, you bring dreaming and recreations, banquets and wreathes; you bring the bride to the bridegroom, and she for whom alone the mind yearns, thrice-honeyed, thrice-golden, thrice-loveable and sweet. If you place this girl in my bed, you evening star, then the light of day will shine for me even in the deepest darkness. Then you yourself, although affixed amidst the stars of night, will shine, not as the evening star, but as Lucifer.

13. WHAT IS LOVE?

spacerWhat is love, what is Cupid? What is this thing we call loving? Love is a pleasant loss, love is a sweet catastrophe. It it is joy, it is pleasure. It is sadness, it is comoplaint. It is hope, when every youth is in despair, and it is desperation itself when golden lovers hope for kindly things. It is a wound fixed in the heart without deep pain. It is extreme pain, but without deep complaint. It is a doorkeeper, pointlessly kind to hostile enemies. It is a doorkeeper, always hostile towards well-disposed friends. It is a thousand thousand losses suffered in exchange for not even a single advantage. It is to be born and die a thousand times within a single hour. It is life free of death, and death without life. It is lightless light, it is a perennial punishment for itself.
spacerLove is fire rejoicing in fire, love is hatred for a beloved, love is wrath, and again it is peace. Love is bloody war, love is sweet peace, in which it is sweet to perish and triumph to be conquered. It is flame, thrice-bound in the harsh bonds of cold. It is a welcome violence, a loss created by guile, and a very pleasant game played by the skill of evil folk. It is wanting to be a slave and refuse to be free. It is brooding for a long time, and yet never at rest. It is a circle without without an ending that lets you gain its center.
spacerLove is a Chimaera, the forequarters of which belong to a savage lion, its middle parts are those of a goat, and its hinder parts belong to a snake. Love is my girl’s two eyes, love is her red lips, well-soaked with the honey of a thousand kisses. It is her milk-white breasts, and the varied flower of her cheeks. Love is her modest lap, and love is her well-turned arms. It is a kiss, and Cypris knows what else. But why say all these things. Love is my handsome girl.

14. HIS PRAYERS

spacerI hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my accections. What we call falling love seems human, but to possess ones love is something that belongs to the gods above. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerMy twice-eleventh winter now overtakes me in Cythere’s jolly greenswards, blue at leisure for my loving. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerNow stormy Boreas brings his gales and snow, the cold has bound together the fixed and the flowing with its strong bonds. blue I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerSwiftly come hither, steward, and pour us Lyaeus’ undiluted Falernian from an ancient cask. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacer Then consign plenty of wood to Vulcan’s fire. Perish the man who values the future at even a single groat. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerSitting here now, my comrade, banish this gloomy gold. We have all frozen enough. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerIt is good to be in sound health, it is good to be sweet-natured. It is good to be legally wealthy. But it is best to enjoy your youth in the company of your friends. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerThe kindly care of our King above has granted only a few to have hoary old age befall them while they are faring not amiss. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerThe base man has his gold and wealth but is often ill-disposed towards good men, and poverty is withheld from the worst of men. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerIt is an arduous task to make up one’s mind about the gods. Since you are man, try to understand human things. Know thyself. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerWhen many a care vexes you by day and by night, it entails pointless effort and suffering. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerApollo adores happy dances, while Pluto likes lamentations. When someone dies, men’s liking and love fades. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.
spacerWe live long, my friend, so let us live in gladness, and not deprive our flourishing youth of sports. I hope to fall in love and possess the objects of my affections.

15. TO CUPID

spacerOh proud lad, take up your hanging quiver, produce your arrows which subdued the great Thunderer. That heavy quiver can harm me no more, nor can those sharp arrows which subdued the great Thunderer. If your hand had wielded those things more forcefully in the past, I might still fear your hanging your hanging quiver and your arrows.
spacerBut since so many winged furies have assaulted my heart entirely, when I felt a thousand darts, and then a thousand more, I rove around carefree. For my heart is agape with so many thousands of your wounds that you might call it a wound. My heart is a gaping wound, so that you might call that what you imagine to be a wound you might call a heart.

16. BEING DEDICATED TO LOVE, HE HAS NO TIME FOR MORE SERIOUS PURSUITS

spacerWhy, I ask you oh gods, have you created so many woundings for our eyes, woundings we call girls? This pretty throng considers me frenzied about itself. This pretty through claims me, willing. While my early manhood lasts, while the blood coursing through my blue veins is heated, do not forbid me to care for girls, or enter with a well-scrubbed mind into the secret inner sanctums of an old man’s wisdom. It is not granted to just any old person to discover the cardinal commands of our revered Father, but only on those who enjoy our King’s more well-disposed inspiration. This why plagues have repeatedly broken out in the court of Truth, and Babel has arisen anew, needing to be destroyed once more.
spacerAlthough the favor of the supreme Thunderer has granted me no mean power of mind, which could fly, soaring only lower than a very few good men, nevertheless any man who has exerted himself in a lesser contest deserves no mean praise, and a glory not to be ashamed of.
spacerSo away with those risks which the idle common run of mankind admires as being loftier I place my thumb neither in this pan of the scale nor in that, but, a free man in every respect and ever unconcerned about what an envious man might say about myself, love to mix sweet Cythere with Bacchus.

Finis