David LaChapelle, Statue, Los Angeles, 2007
…..You burn me…..
Remembering those things
We did in our youth…
…Many, beautiful things…
…Again and again…because those
I care for best, do me
You came, and I was mad for you
And you cooled my mind that burned with longing…
Once long ago I loved you, Atthis,
A little graceless child you seemed to me
Nightingale, herald of spring
With a voice of longing….
Eros, again now, the loosener of limbs troubles me,
Bittersweet, sly, uncontrollable creature….
………..but you have forgotten me…
You and my servant Eros….
Like the sweet-apple reddening high on the branch,
High on the highest, the apple-pickers forgot,
Or not forgotten, but one they couldn’t reach…
Neither for me the honey
Nor the honeybee…
Come from heaven, wrapped in a purple cloak…
Of all the stars, the loveliest…
I spoke to you, Aphrodite, in a dream….
Yet I am not one who takes joy in wounding,
Mine is a quiet mind….
Like the mountain hyacinth, the purple flower
That shepherds trample to the ground…
Dear mother, I cannot work the loom
Filled, by Aphrodite, with love for a slender boy…
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He’s equal with the Gods, that man
Who sits across from you,
Face to face, close enough, to sip
Your voice’s sweetness,
And what excites my mind,
Your laughter, glittering. So,
When I see you, for a moment,
My voice goes,
My tongue freezes. Fire,
Delicate fire, in the flesh.
Blind, stunned, the sound
Of thunder, in my ears.
Shivering with sweat, cold
Tremors over the skin,
I turn the colour of dead grass,
And I’m an inch from dying.
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Ἕγω δ᾽ ἐπὶ μαλθάκαν τύλαν σπολέω μέλεα.
But upon a soft cushion I dispose my limbs
I know not what to do: I have two minds.
In doubt I am, I have two minds,
I know not what to do.
Quoted about 220 B.C. by Chrysippus, the Stoic philosopher