Page images
[ocr errors]

Soft scenes of folitude no more can please,
Love enters there, and I'm my own disease.
No more the Lefbian dames my paffion move,
Once the dear Objects of my guilty love;
All other loves are loft in only thine,
Ah youth ungrateful to a flame like mine!
Whom would not all those blooming charms fur-


Those heav'nly looks, and dear deluding eyes?
The harp and bow would you like Phœbus bear,
A brighter Phoebus Phaon might appear;
Would you with ivy wreath your flowing hair, 25
Not Bacchus' felf with Phaon could compare :
Yet Phœbus lov'd, and Bacchus felt the flame,

One Daphne warm'd, and one the Cretan dame;
Nymphs that in verfe no more could rival me, 29
Than ev'n thofe Gods contend in charms with thee.
The mufes teach me all their fofteft lays,
And the wide world refounds with Sappho's praise.
Tho' great Alcæus more fublimely fings,
And strikes with bolder rage the founding strings,
No less renown attends the moving lyre,
Which Venus tunes, and all her loves infpire;
To me what nature has in charms deny'd,
Is well by wit's more lafting flames fupply'd.


Sum brevis ; at nomen, quod terras impleat omnes,

Eft mihi; menfuram nominis ipfa fero. 40
Candida fi non fum, placuit Cepheïa Perfeo
Andromede, patriae fufca colore fuae :
Et variis albae junguntur faepe columbae,
Et niger a viridi turtur amatur ave.
Si, nifi quae facie poterit te digna videri,


Nulla futura tua eft; nulla futura tua eft.
At me cum legeres, etiam formosa videbar ;
Unam jurabas ufque decere loqui.
Cantabam, memini (meminerunt omnia amantes)
Ofcula cantanti tu mihi rapta dabas.
Haec quoque laudabas; omnique a parte placebam,
Sed tum praecipue, cum fit amoris opus.
Tunc te plus folito lafcivia noftra juvabat,
Crebraque mobilitas, aptaque verba joco;
Quique, ubi jam amborum fuerat confufa voluptas,
Plurimus in laffo corpore languor erat.


[ocr errors]

Tho' fhort
my stature, yet my name extends
To heav'n itself, and earth's remoteft ends.
Brown as I am, an Ethiopian dame
Infpir'd young Perfeus with a gen'rous flame;
Turtles and doves of differing hues unite,
And gloffy jet is pair'd with shining white.
If to no charms thou wilt thy heart refign, 45
But fuch as merit, fuch as equal thine,

By none, alas! by none thou can't 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, 55
And found kiffes fweeter than my fong.
In all I pleas'd, but moft in what was beft;
And the last joy was dearer than the rest.
Then with each word, each glance, each motion


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.




Nunc tibi Sicelides veniunt nova praeda puellae ;
Quid mihi cum Lefbo? Sicelis effe volo.
At vos erronem tellure remittite noftrum,
Nifiades matres, Nifiadesque nurus.
Neu vos decipiant blandae mendacia linguae: 65
Quae dicit vobis, dixerat ante mihi.

Tu quoque quæ 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: 75
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 Vefte tegor vili: nullum eft in crinibus aurum: Non Arabo nofter rore capillus olet.

gemma meos.


The fair Sicilians now thy foul inflame;
Why was I born, ye Gods, a Lesbian dame?
But ah beware, Sicilian nymphs! nor boaft 65
That wand'ring heart which I fo lately loft;
Nor be with all thofe 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!
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 ashes drank my early tears:
My brother next, neglecting wealth and fame, 75
Ignobly burn'd in a destructive flame :
An infant daughter late my griefs increas'd,
And all a mother's cares diftract my breast.
Alas, what more could fate itself impose,
But thee, the last and greatest of my woes?
woes? 80
No more my robes in waving purple flow,
Nor on my hand the fparkling di'monds glow;
No more my locks in ringlets curl'd diffuse
The costly sweetness of Arabian dews,
Nor braids of gold the varied treffes bind,
That fly disorder'd with the wanton wind:



« EelmineJätka »