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Nymphs that in verse no more could rival me,
That ev’n those Gods contend in charms with thee.
The muses teach me all their softest lays, 31
And the wide world resounds with Sappho's praise.
Tho' great Alcæus more sublimely sings,
And strikes with bolder rage the sounding strings,
No less renown attends the moving lyre, 35
Which Venus tunes, and all her loves inspire;
To me what nature has in charms deny'd,
Is well by wit's more lasting flames supply'd.
Tho' short my stature, yet my name extends
To heav'n itself, and earth's remotest ends. 40
Brown as I am, an Ethiopian dame
Inspir’d young Perseus with a gen'rous flame;
Turtles and doves of different hues unite,
And glossy jet is pair’d with shining white.
If to no charms thou wilt thy heart resign, 45
But such as merit, such 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 centred all your joy : 50
No time the dear remembrance can remove,
For oh! how vast a memory has love?
My music, then, you could for ever hear,
And all my words were music to your ear.
You stopp'd with kissés my enchanting tongue, 55
And found my kisses sweeter than my song.
In all I pleas'd, but most in what was best;
And the last joy was dearer than the rest.
Then with each word, each glance, each motion, fir’d,
You still enjoy'd, and yet you still desir'd, 60


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Nunc tibi Sicelides veniunt, nova præda, puellæ;

Quid mihi cum Lesbo? Sicelis esse volo.
At vos erronem tellure remittite nostrum,

Nisiades matres, Nisiadesque nurus.
Neu vos decipiant blandæ mendacia linguæ :

Quæ dicit vobis, dixerat ante mihi.
Tu quoque quæ montes celebras, Erycina, Sicanos,

(Nam tua sum) vati consule, diva, tuæ. An gravis inceptum peragit fortuna tenorem, 70

Et manet in cursu semper acerba suo ? Sex mihi natales ierant, cum lecta parentis

Ante diem lacrymas ossa bibere meas. Arsit inops frater, victus meretricis amore;

Mistaque cum turpi damna pudore tulit. Factus inops agili peragit freta cærula remo: 75

Quasque male amisit, nunc male quærit opes. Me quoque, quod monui bene multa fideliter, odit:

Hoc mihi libertas, hoc pia lingua dedit.
Et tanquam desint, quæ me sine fine fatigent,

Accumulat curas filia parva meas.
Ultima tu nostris accedis causa querelis :
Non agitur vento nostra carina suo.

80 Ecce, jacent collo sparsi sine lege capilli;

Nec premit articulos lucida gemma meos.
Veste tegor yili : nullum est in crinibus aurum :

Non Arabo noster rore capillus olet.
Cui colar infelix, aut cui placuisse laborem ?

Ille mei cultus unicus auctor abest.
Molle meum levibus cor est violabile telis ;

Et semper causa est, cur ego semper amem. 90 Sive ita nascenti legem dixere sorores,

Nec data sunt vitæ fila severa meæ ;



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Till all dissolving in the trance we lay, And in tumultuous raptures died away. The fair Sicilians now the soul inflame; Why was I born, ye Gods, a Lesbian dame? But ah beware, Sicilian nymphs! nor boast That wand'ring heart which I so lately lost; Nor be with all those tempting words abus’d, Those tempting words were all to Sappho us’d. And you that rule Şicilia's happy plains, Have pity, Venus, on your Poet's pains ! 70 Shall fortune still in one sad tenor run, And still increase the woes so soon begun? Inur'd to sorrow 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 increasid, And all a mother's cares distract my breast. Alas, what more could fate itself impose, But thee, the last and greatest of my woes? 80 No more my robes in waving purple flow, Nor on my hand the sparkling diamonds glow; No more my locks in ringlets curl'd diffuse The costly sweetness of Arabian dews, Nor braids of gold the varied tresses bind, That fly disorder'd with the wanton wind : For whom should Sappho use such arts as these? He's gone, whom only she desir'd to please ! Cupid's light darts my tender bosom move, Still is there cause for Sappho still to love :

90 So from my birth the Sisters fix'd my doom, And gave to Venus all my life to come;

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Sive abeunt studia in mores, artesque magistræ ;

Ingenium nobis molle Thalia facit. Quid mirum, primæ si me lanuginis ætas

Abstulit, atque anni, quos vir amare potest? Hunc ne pro Cephalo raperes, Aurora, timebam :

Et faceres ; sed te prima rapina tenet.
Hunc si conspiciat, quæ conspicit omnia, Phæbe;

Jussus erit somnos continuare Phaon.
Hunc Venus in cælum curru vexisset eburno;

Sed videt et Marti posse placere suo.
O nec adhuc juvenis, nec jam puer ; utilis ætas !

O decus, atque ævi gloria magna tui !
Huc ades, inque sinus, formose, relabere nostros :

Non ut ames, oro, verum ut amare sinas. 106 Scribimus, et lacrymis oculi rorantur obortis :

Aspice, quam sit in hoc multa litura loco.
Si tam certus eras hinc ire, modestius isses,

Et modo dixisses : Lesbi puella, vale.
Non tecum lacrymas, non oscula summa tulisti :

Denique non timui, quod dolitura fui.
Nil de te mecum est, nisi tantum injuria : nec tu,

Admoneat quod te, pignus amantis habes. Non mandata dedi ; neque enim mandata dedissem

Ulla, nisi, ut nolles immemor esse mei. 120

NOTES. Ver. 120. esse mei] Trapp, in his Prelections, severely censures Ovid for his laziness and carelessness in ending so many of his pentameter verses with the words, mei, tui, and sui ; a fault which Tibullus and Propertius have avoided. But I cannot be of Trapp's opinion, that it is improper to end pentameter verses with words of three or more syllables ; which certainly gives a variety to the numbers, and is frequently done in some of the best Greek epigrams.

Or, while my Muse in melting notes complains,
My yielding heart keeps measure to my strains.
By charms like thine which all my soul have won,
Who might not-ah! who would not be undone?
For those Aurora Cephalus might scorn,
And with fresh blushes paint the conscious morn.
For those might Cynthia lengthen Phaon's sleep,
And bid Endymion nightly tend his sheep. 100
Venus for those had rapt thee to the skies,
But Mars on thee might look with Venus' eyes.
O scarce a youth, yet scarce a tender boy!
O useful time for lovers to employ!
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 lost in tears !
The less my sense, the more my love appears. 110
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 !
No tear did you, no parting kiss, receive, 115
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.
No charge I gave you, and no charge could give,
But this, Be mindful of our loves, and live. 120
Now by the Nine, those pow'rs ador'd by me,
And Love, the God that ever waits on thee,
When first I heard (from whom I hardly knew)
That you were fled, and all my joys with you,

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