"Fool, faint not thou!" I laughed in blame


    Ἄλλαν μὴ καμεστέραν φρένα·

    " Fool, faint not thou !" I laughed in blame 
    Of Larichus, pale in the flame 
    Of Hymen's torches : while, alas, 
         I feel my senses swoon, 
         Or quicken with delight 
         At Nature's simplest boon : 
         Unmoved I cannot pass 
         The fine bloom of the grass, 
    Or watch the dimpling shadows on the white, 
    Vibrating poplar with unshaken frame. 

    " Faint not," I said—and yet my breath 
    Comes sharp as I were nigh to death 
    If suddenly across the grove 
         The lovely laugh I hear, 
         Or catch the lovely speech 
         Of one who makes a peer 
         Of the blest gods above 
         The man she deigns to love : 
    O Anactoria, wast thou born to teach 
    Sappho how vainly she admonisheth ? 

    " Faint not"—the poet must dare all; 
    Me no experience shall appal, 
    No pang that can make shrill my song : 
         Though Atthis, hateful, flit 
         From my fond arms, and by Andromeda dare sit, 
         I will not let my strong 
         Heart fail, will bear the wrong, 
    With piercing accents for Adonis cry, 
    Or thrice on perished Timas vainly call. 

    " Faint not," I said. Would'st thou be great, 
    Thou must with every shock vibrate 
    That life can bring thee ; seek and yearn ; 
         Feel in thyself the stroke 
         Of love, although it rive 
         As mountain-wind an oak ; 
         Let jealous passion burn 
         If Rhodope must turn 
    To other love ; and laugh that age should strive 
    The ardours of thy bosom to abate.