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.