When my dear maidens lie


    Ὄτα πάννυχος ἄσφι κατάγρει·

    WHEN my dear maidens lie 
       Each on her bed, 
    When all night long sleep holds 
    Their eyes, and softly folds 
    Their busy hands that ply 
       The wheel, or spread 
    The linen on the grass, 
    While hours of sunshine pass : 

    Thus when they lie and dream 
       Of happy things, 
    The golden age reburns ; 
    When youth to slumber turns 
    Beneath the Cynthian beam 
       Again it brings 
    To life such bliss and glow 
    As vanished long ago. 

    Ah, once to lie awake 
      Seemed sweet to me ! 
    Now I who even have prayed 
    That night might be delayed, 
    Yea, doubled for my sake, 
      Sigh wearily, 
    Watching my maids, where they 
    Together breathe till day.