« EelmineJätka »
All other loves are loft in only thine,
Ah youth ungrateful to a flame like mine!
Whom would not all thofe blooming charms furprize,
Thofe 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
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 Muses teach me all their fofeft lays,
And the wide world resounds with Sappho's praife.
Tho' great Alcæus more fublimely fings,
And ftrikes with bolder rage the founding ftrings,
No lefs renown attends the moving lyre,
Which Venus tunes, and all her loves inspire;
To me what nature has in charms deny'd,
Is well by wit's more lafting flames fupply'd.
Tho' fhort my ftature, yet my name extends
To heav'n itself, and earth's remotest ends,
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,
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.
Nunc tibi Sicelides veniunt nova praeda puellae ;
Quid mihi cum Lefbo? Sicelis effe volo.
At vos erronem tellure remittite noftrum,
Nifiades matres, Nifiadefque nurus.
Neu vos decipiant blandae mendacia linguae: 65
Quae dicit vobis, dixerat ante mihi.
Tu quoque quae montes celebras, Erycina, Sicanos,
(Nam tua fum) vati confule, diva, tuae.
An gravis inceptum peragit fortuna tenorem?
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;
Mistaque cum turpi damna pudore tulit.
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 ftopp'd with kiffes my enchanting tongue, 55
And found my kiffes sweeter than my song.
In all I pleas'd, but most in what was beft;
And the laft joy was dearer than the reft.
Then with each word, each glance, each motion fir'd,
You ftill enjoy'd, and yet you ftill 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;
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!
Shall fortune ftill in one fad tenor run,
And ftill increase the woes fo foon begun ?
Inur'd to forrow from my tender years,
My parent's ashes drank my early tears:
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 cultûs unicus auctor abeft.
Molle meum levibus cor eft violabile telis;
Et femper caufa eft, cur ego femper amem.
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 poteft?
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.
My brother next, neglecting wealth and fame,
Ignobly burn'd in a deftructive flame :
An infant daughter late my griefs encreas'd,
And all a mother's cares distract my breaft:
Alas, what more could fate itself impofe,
But thee, the last 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 diffuse
The coftly sweetness of Arabian dews,
Nor braids of gold the varied tresses bind,
That fly diforder'd with the wanton wind:
For whom should Sappho ufe fuch arts as these?
He's gone, whom only fhe 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;
Or while my Mufe in melting notes complains,
My yielding heart keeps meafure to my ftrains,
By charms like thine which all my foul have won,95
Who might not-ah! who would not be undone ?
For thofe Aurora Cephalus might scorn,
And with fresh blushes paint the conscious morn.
For those might Cynthia lengthen Phaon's fleep,
And bid Endymion nightly tend his fheep.
Venus for those had rapt thee to the skies,
But Mars on thee might look with Venus' eyes.