Ah for Adonis! So



    Ὦ τὸν Ἄδωνιν·

    Ah for Adonis ! So 
    The virgins cry in woe : 
    Ah, for the spring, the spring, 
    And all fleet blossoming— 
    The delicate and slight 
    Anemones, rose-bright, 
    With buds flushed in and out, 
    Like Aphrodite's pout 
    When she is soft and coy ; 
    Ah for the mortal boy, 
    Who would not hold her dear, 
    And now is dying here ! 

    Ah for Adonis ! Show, 
    Ye virgins, what ye know ! 
    The white narcissi breathe 
    Between the grass, and sheathe 
    Their fragrance as they die ;
    From the low bushes nigh, 
    Mimosa's golden dust 
    A little later must 
    Be squandered on decay : 
    And can the fair youth stay, 
    When every lovely bloom 
    Goes to obscuring doom ? 

    Ah for Adonis ! No, 
    He must to Hades go : 
    A goddess may not keep 
    Safe from the mortal sleep 
    Those limbs and those young eyes ; 
    Nor can her frantic cries 
    Recall one transient grace 
    Secure Immortals trace 
    In things of earthly mould. 
    Ungirt and sable-stoled 
    She wanders through the glades, 
    And tears her heavenly braids. 

    Ah for Adonis ! Throw 
    All flowers that quickly grow 
    And perish on his bed ! 
    He will come back, though dead, 
    When spring returns, and fill 
    Cythera's arms until 
    He must again depart, 
    Again her bosom smart.
    O virgins, joy is sent, 
    And soon with sorrow blent; 
    All we have loved is made 
    To re-appear, and fade.