We sat and chatted at our ease


Καμ μὲν τετύλαν κασπολέω·

WE sat and chatted at our ease 
   Upon a wayside tomb, 
When from a little grove of trees 
    Came Gorgo in her bloom : 
Her head against my knee she prest, 
And seemed to listen to the rest, 
Then, looking up, said straight to me — 
" Phaon is gone to Sicily." 

Scarcely her insult might I hear, 
   For little Atthis spoke— 
" A gourd ! The fruit-seller is near, 
   O Gorgo." And they broke 
Away. I looked across the town ; 
Ere I could set the cushion down 
At home, and sob out all my woe, 
How very far I had to go ! 

Gone ! Is he gone ? Persephone, 
   Leave him not lips that kiss ! 
Swift! draw him earthward down to thee, 
   Where he may mourn and miss 
The fluttering motion of his boat, 
The joy of the free life afloat, 
And stretch ungrasping hands to reach 
Eunica's figure on the beach. 

Ah fool, to think love's pain could leap 
   Through bloodless shadows cold ! 
I set the pillow down, and deep 
   In its striped, wrinkling fold 
Pour out my rage ; while he to-night 
Leans, softly-cushioned for delight, 
And, with the wine-cup in his hand, 
Turns some gay singer to command. 

Apollo, thou alone can'st bring 
   To Phaon's feeble breast 
The fire unquenchable, the sting, 
   Love's agony, love's zest. 
Thou need'st not curse him nor transform ; 
Give him the poet's heart of storm 
To suffer as I suffer, thus 
Abandoned, vengeful, covetous.