She loved the perfumed inlet; in the spring


    Φαῖσι δή ποτα Λήδαν ὐακινθίνων
    [ὐπ’ ἀνθέων] πεπυκαδμένον
    εὔρην ὤϊον.

SHE loved the perfumed inlet; in the spring 
The swans were wont to sail to her and sing— 
Leda, there was a bird of lustrous wing ! 
And there one day she found, 'tis said, 
An egg hid in the hyacinth-bed.

She stooped, and looked down at it with delight 
And wonder ; 'twas so much, ah, much more white 
Than any ever seen before, and right 
Against the purple buds was prest 
As in a very blossom-nest.

She watched the leafy clusters as they grew, 
And smelt the flowers, and with her fingers drew 
The arching stalks together, from men's view 
To hide the egg, and kept about 
The spot till every bunch was out, 

And deep in bloom the glistering thing was laid. 
" But soon," she thought, " the crowded flowers will fade ! " 
And, as she peered down anxious, from the shade 
A lovely, laughing child looked up 
With lips just parted from a cup

Of nectarous blossom-honey that still dript. 
How white were the soft limbs, as Leda stript 
The cradle of its guardian leaves, and dipt 
The gracious child, and understood 
Her god had given her motherhood !

Thus Zeus did for his heavenly girl provide 
A safe retreat ; and she grew up beside 
The hyacinths and the swans who should be bride 
To Paris, and distract and bless 
The whole world with her loveliness.