Vast silver, gold, wheat lands, horses, mules
are only equal to the wealth
of him whose belly, ribs and feet are warm,
who may be poor but enters love
with men or women when he comes upon
the proper season in his youth.
This is plenitude for a man. No one goes down
to Hades with fabulous belongings.
Even ransom will not spare him from repugnant
disease, evil old age and death.
White, white violets
with myrtle and tender narcissus;
I shall weave laughing lilies
and soft crocus and purple hyacinths
with roses, flowers of lovers.
I shall come to decorate her brow
and brighten her perfumed hair
in a fine rain of flowers.
Even now Eros looks at me with tenderness
from under dark eyelids, and casts me spellbound
into Aphrodite’s nets where I lie caught
for I swear his mere approach makes me tremble
like an old champion chariot horse, as he
draws a swift cart unwillingly to the race.
If you had wings, a bow, and arrows too,
I’d not think Cupid Venus’ son, but you.
The sun grows steadily from its watered root
by reason of the ambrosia poured from her moon-bowl by Night
as by a gardener girl desiring a new garden,
in fact, the world.
As it grows from out its trench,
the Eastern Mountain’s ring of peaks,
red as fresh coral, may it bring you joy,
this first sprout of the tree of day.
The morning glory climbs above my head,
Pale flowers of white and purple, blue and red.
I am disquieted.
Down in the withered grasses something stirred;
I thought it was his footfall that I heard.
Then a grasshopper chirred.
I climbed the hill just as new moon showed,
I saw him coming on the southern road.
My heart lays down its load.
Your sparkling eyes, Lycinus, what divine
Beauties! Call them rather ﬁery rays.
I cannot, facing you, sustain with mine
Momentarily your blazing gaze.