Mnasidica in form and gait


    Εὐμορφοτέρα Μνασιδίκα τᾶσ ἀπάλας Γυρίννως·

    MNASIDICA in form and gait 
    Eclipses her ill-favoured mate 
        Gyrinna ; when I call, 
    I tremble lest the girl appear 
    Whose very shadow on the wall 
    Repulses me, and when I hear 
    Her rude, slow step I shake with fear. 

    Her gesture has no rhythmic law ; 
    She knows not how her dress to draw 
         About her ankles thin ; 
    And let the luckless child take care 
    Firmly her chiton-brooch to pin, 
    For, oh, she must not ever dare 
    To leave her flabby shoulder bare ! 

    But when Mnasidica doth raise 
    Her arm to feed the lamp I gaze 
         Glad at the lovely curve ;
    And when her pitcher at the spring 
    She fills, I watch her tresses swerve 
    And drip, then pause to see her wring 
    Her hair, and back the bright drops fling. 

    And now she leaves my maiden train ! 
    Those whom I love most give me pain : 
         Why should I love her so ? 
    Gyrinna hath a gentle face, 
    And the harmonious soul, I know, 
    Not very long can lack the trace, 
    O Aphrodite, of thy grace.