3b & 26



Her sweetness isn't empty:

Astymeloisa is coy
and quiet. She lifts
the garland high
like a star that falls
from burning sky,
like an incandescent
branch, or goose down
soft and fluttering:

her glance melts
limbs like desire,
her glance dissolves
like sleep or death.


I'll never dance again
with sweet-voiced girls:
my knees just shake
underneath me.

If only I were a cerylus,
gliding with halcyons
that teem above waves'
white-blossomed spray—

strong ocean-purple bird,
your heart never shakes
underneath you.

translated from the Ancient Greek by M. Pfaff