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.