"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.