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SJPPHO TO PHAON.
Pfcaon, 3 youth of exquisite beauty, was deeply enamoured of Sappho, a lady of Lesbos, from whom he met with the tenderest returns of passion; but his affection afterwards decaying, he left her, and sailed for Sicily. She, unabk to bear the loss of her lover, hearkened to all the mad suggestions of despair; and seeing no other remedy for her present miseries, resolved to throw herself into the sea, from Leucate a promontory of Zpirus, which was thought a cure in cases of obstinate love, and therefore had obtained the name of the Lover's Leap But before she ventured upon this last step, euertaining still some fond hopes that she might be able to reclaim her iactmstant, she wrote him this Epistle; in which she gives him a strong skture of ber distress and misery, occasioned by his absence; and endeavours, by all the artful insinuations ar,d moving expressions she is mistress of, to sooth him to softness, and a mutual feeling. [Aon.]
Sav, lovely youth, that dost my heart command,
Can Phaon's eyes forget his Sappho's hand?
Must then her name the wretched writer prove,
To thy remembrance lost, as to thy love?
Ask not the cause that I new numbers chuse, j
The lute neglected, and the lyric muse:
Love taught my tears in sadder notes to flow,
And tun'd my heart to elegies of woe.
-fccot'iD, ut inspecta est studiosae littera dextrae,
Protinus est oculis cognita nostra tuis? An, nisi legisses auctoris nomina Sapphus,
Hoc breve nescires unde movetur opus i Foristan et quare mea sint alterna requires 5
Carmina, cum lyricis sim magis aptamodis. Flendus amor meus est: elegeia flebile carmen;
Non facit ad lacrymas barbitos ulla meas.
I burn, I burn, as when through ripen'd corn
By driving winds the spreading flames are bprne! 10
Phaon to .(Etna's scorching fields retires,
While I consume with more than .Etna's fires!
No more my soul a charm in music finds:
Music has charms alone for peaceful minds.
Soft scenes of solitude no more can please, i 5
Love enters there, and I'm my own disease.
No more the Lesbian dames my passions move.
Once the dear objectsof my guilty love;
All other loves are lost in only thine,
O youth, ungrateful to a flame like mine! 20
Whom would not all those blooming charms surprise,
Those heav'nly looks, and dear deluding eyes?
Uror, ut, indomitis ignem exercentibus Euris,
Fertilis accensis messibus ardet ager. 10
Arva Phaon celebrat diversaTyphoidos Mtnae,
Me calor yEtnaeo non minor igne coquit.
Proveniunt; vacuae carmina mentis opus.
Nee me Lesbiadum caetera turba juvant.
Improbe, multarum quod fuit, unus habes. 20
Est in te facies, sunt apti lusibus anni,
O facies oculis insidiosa meis I
The harp and bow would you like Phcebus bear,
A brighter Phcebus Phaon might appear;
Would you with ivy wreath your flowing hair, i5
Not Bacchus' self with Phaon could compare:
Yet Phcebus lov'd, and Bacchus felt the flame,
One Daphne warm'd, and one the Cretan dame;
Nymphs that in verse no more could rival me,
Than ev'n those gods contend in charms with thee. 30
The Muses teach me all their softest lays,
And the wide world resounds with Sappho's praise.
Though great Alcarus 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:
Though short my stature, yet my name extends
To heav'n itself, and earth's remotest ends. 40
Sume fidem et pharetram; fies manifestus Apollo:
Accedant capiti cornua; Bacchus eris, 25
Et Phcebus Daphnen, et Gnosida Bacchus amavit;
Nec norat lyricos ilia, vel ilia modos. 30
At mihi Pegasides blandissima carmina dictant;
Jam canitur toto nomen in orbe meum.
Laudis habet, quamvis grandius ille sonet. 35
Si mini difficilis formam natura negayit;
Ingenio formae damna rependo meae. Sum brevis; at nomen, quod terras impleat omnes,
Est mihi; mensuram nominis ipsa fero, 40 Brown as I am, an Ethiopian dame
Inspir'd young Perseus with a gen'rous flame;
Turtles and doves of diff'renl hues unite,
And glossy jet is pair'd with shining white.
If to no charms thou wilt thy heart resign, 45
Bu,t such as merit, such as equal thine,
By none, alas I 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; 5o
No time the dear remembrance can remove,
For oh I 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 kisses my enchanting tongue, J5
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.
Candida si non sum, placuit Cephei'a Perseo
Andromede, patriae fusca colore suae; Et variis albae junguntur s;vpc columbae,
Et niger a viridi turtur amatur ave. Si, nisi quae facie poterit te digna videri, 45
Nulla ilit in a tua est; nulla futura tua est. At me cum legeres, etiam formosa videbar;
Unam jurabas usque decere ioqui. 50
Cantabani, memini (memiiierunt omnia amantes)
Osi ula cantata tu mini rapta dabas. 5 j
Hate quoque laudabas; omnique a parte placebam,
Sed tum praxipue, cum fit amoris opus.
Then with each word, each glance, each motion fii'd,
You still enjoy'd, and yet you still desir'd, 6a
'Till all dissolving, in the trance we lay,
And in tumultuous raptures dy'd away.
The fair Sicilians now thy soul enfiame;
Why was I born, ye Gods! a Lesbian dame?
But ah, beware, Sicilian nymphs! nor boast 6$
That wand'ring heart which I so lately lost;
Snail fortune still in one sad tenor run,
Tunc te plus solito lascivia nostra juvabat, 60
Crebraque mobiliias, aptaque verba joco; Quique, ubi jam amborum fuerat confusa voluptas,
Plurimus in lasso corpore languor er.it!
Quid mihi cum Lesbo? Sicelis esse volo.
Nisiades matres, Nisiadesque nurus. Neuvos decipiant blandae mendacia lingua?:
Quae dicit vobis, dixerat ante mihi. Tu qtioque quae montes cclebras, Erycina, Sicanos,
(Nam tua sum) vati consule, diva, tuae! 70
An gravis iriceptum peragit fortuna tenorem?
Et maaet in cursu semper acerba suo? i