Page images
PDF
EPUB

Brown as I am, an Ethiopian dame
Infpir'd young Perfeus with a gen'rous flame;
Turtles and doves of diff'ring hues unite,
And gloffy jet is pair'd with fhining white.
If to no charms thou wilt thy heart refign,
But fuch as merit, fuch as equal thine,
By none, alas! by none thou canst be mov'd,
Phaon alone by Phaon must be lov❜d!
Yet once thy Sappho could thy cares employ,
Once in her arms you center'd all your joy:
No time the dear remembrance can remove,
For oh! how vaft a memory has love?
My mufic, then, you could for ever hear,
And all my
words were mufic to your ear.
You stopp'd with kiffes my enchanting tongue,
And found my kiffes fweeter than my fong.
In all I pleas'd, but most in what was beft;
And the last joy was dearer than the rest.

45

55

Then with each word, each glance, each motion fir'd,

You ftill enjoy'd, and yet you still defir'd,

'Till all diffolving in the trance we lay,
And in tumultuous raptures dy'd away.
The fair Sicilians now thy foul inflame;
Why was I born, ye Gods, a Lesbian dame ?
But ah beware, Sicilian nymphs! nor boast
That wand'ring heart which I fo lately loft;

60

Neu vos decipiant blandae mendacia linguae:
Quae dicit vobis, dixerat ante mihi.

65

Tu quoque quae montes celebras, Erycina, Sicanos, (Nam tua fum) vati confule, diva, tuae.

An gravis inceptum peragit fortuna tenorem ?

70

Et manet in curfu femper acerba fuo?
Sex mihi natales ierant, cum lecta parentis
Ante diem lacrymas offa bibere meas.
Arfit inops frater, victus meretricis amore;
Miftaque cum turpi damna pudore tulit.
Factus inops agili peragit freta coerula remo:

Quafque male amifit, nunc male quaerit opes :

Me quoque, quod monui bene multa fideliter, odit.
Hoc mihi libertas, hoc pia lingua dedit.
Et tanquam defint, quae me fine fine fatigent,
Accumulat curas filia parva meas.

Ultima tu noftris accedis caufa querelis:
Non agitur vento noftra carina fuo.

Ecce jacent collo fparfi fine lege capilli;

Nec premit articulos lucida gemma meos.
Vefte tegor vili: nullum eft in crinibus aurum :
Non Arabo nofter rore capillus olet.
Cui colar infelix? aut cui placuiffe laborem?

Ille mihi cultus unicus auctor abeft.
Molle meum levibus cor eft violabile telis ;

9

Et femper caufa eft, cur ego femper amem.

75

8Q

90

Nor be with all those tempting words abus'd,
Those tempting words were all to Sappho us'd.
And you that rule Sicilia's happy plains,
Have pity, Venus, on your Poet's pains!

70

Shall fortune ftill in one fad tenor run,

And still increase the woes fo foon begun?
Inur'd to forrow from my tender years,

My parent's afhes drank my early tears:

My brother next, neglecting wealth and fame,
Ignobly burn'd in a destructive flame :

75

An infant daughter late my griefs increas'd,
And all a mother's cares diftract my breaft.
Alas, what more could fate itself impose,
But thee, the laft and greatest of my woes?
No more my robes in waving purple flow,
Nor on my hand the sparkling di'monds glow;
No more my locks in ringlets curl'd diffufe
The costly sweetness of Arabian dews,
Nor braids of gold the varied treffes bind,
That fly diforder'd with the wanton wind:
For whom fhould Sappho ufe fuch arts as thefe?
He's gone, whom only the defir'd to please!
Cupid's light darts my tender bofom move,
Still is there caufe for Sappho ftill to love:
So from my birth the Sifters fix'd my doom,
And gave to Venus all my life to come;

80

85

90

Sive ita nafcenti legem dixere forores,
Nec data funt vitae fila fevera meae;
Sive abeunt ftudia in mores, artefque magiftrae,
Ingenium nobis molle Thalia facit.

Quid mirum, fi me primae lanuginis aetas
Abftulit, atque anni, quos vir amare potest?
Hunc ne pro Cephalo raperes, Aurora, timebam :
Et faceres; fed te prima rapina tenet,
Hunc fi confpiciat quae confpicit omnia, Phoebe;.
Juffus erit fomnos continuare Phaon.

Hunc Venus in coelum curru vexiffet eburno;
Sed videt et Marti poffe placere fuo.

O nec adhuc juvenis, nec jam puer! utilis aetas!
O decus, atque aevi gloria magna tui !

Huc ades, inque finus, formofe, relabere noftros: 105
Non ut ames oro, verum ut amare finas.
Scribimus, et lacrymis oculi rorantur obortis:
Afpice, quam fit in học multa litura loco.
Si tam certus eras hinc ire, modeftius isses,
Et modo dixiffes: Lesbi puella, vale.
Non tecum lacrymas, non ofcula fumma tulisti;
Denique non timui, quod dolitura fui.

Nil de te mecum eft, nifi tantum injuria: nec tu,
Admoneat quod te, pignus amantis habes.

110

Or, while my Muse in melting notes complains,
My yielding heart keeps meafure to my strains.
By charms like thine which all my foul have won,
Who might not ah! who would not be undone?
For thofe Aurora Cephalus might scorn,

And with fresh blushes paint the conscious morn.
For thofe might Cynthia lengthen Phaon's fleep,
And bid Endymion nightly tend his sheep.
Venus for thofe had rapt thee to the skies,
But Mars on thee might look with Venus' eyes.
O fcarce a youth, yet scarce a tender boy!
O useful time for lovers to employ !

100

Pride of thy age, and glory of thy race,

105

Come to these arms, and melt in this embrace!
The vows you
never will return, receive;
And take at least the love you will not give.
See, while I write, my words are loft in tears;
The lefs my fenfe, the more my love appears.
Sure 'twas not much to bid one kind adieu,
(At least to feign was never hard to you)
Farewell my
Lesbian love, you might have said,
Or coldly thus, Farewell oh Lesbian maid Į
No tear did you, no parting kiss receive,
Nor knew I then how much I was to grieve.
No lover's gift your Sappho could confer,
And wrongs and woes were all you left with her.

ΠΙΟ

115

« EelmineJätka »