This is my song of maidens dear to me.
Eranna, a slight girl I counted thee,
When first I looked upon thy form and face,
Slim as a reed, and all devoid of grace.
But stately stature, grace and beauty came
Unto thee with the years — O, dost not shame
For this, Eranna, that thy pride hath grown
Therewith? Alas for thee ! I have not known
One beauty ever of more scornful mien,
As though thou wert of all earth's daughters queen!
Mnasidica is comelier, perchance,
Than my Gyrinna — ah, but sweetly rings
Gyrinna's matchless voice ! In rapture-trance
I listen, listen, while Gyrinna sings.
Hero of Gyara is fleet of foot
As fawns, and as light-footed in the dance,
The dance taught by the measures of my lute.
Ever-impassioned Gorgo! — is it strange
That I grow weary of the change on change
Of thine adored ones? — of thy rhapsodies
O'er each new girlfriend, while the old love dies?
Joy to thee, daughter of a princely race,
For thy last dear one! Lie in her embrace —
Till shines a new star on thy raptured eyes!
Fonder of maids thou art, I trow, than she.
The ghost who nightly steal young girls, to be
In Hades of her woeful company.
This is my fair girl-garden: sweet they grow —
Rose, violet, asphodel and lily's snow;
And which the sweetest is, I do not know;
For rosy arms and starry eyes are there.
Honey-sweet voices and cheeks passing fair.
And these shall men, I ween, remember long;
For these shall bloom for ever in my song.