Thursday, September 9, 2010

"a song in the ears of all men unborn"

Hast thou come, dear youth, with the third night and the dawning; hast thou come? but men in longing grow old in a day! As spring than the winter is sweeter, as the apple than the sloe, as the ewe is deeper of fleece than the lamb she bore; as a maiden surpasses a thrice-wedded wife, as the fawn is nimbler than the calf; nay, by as much as sweetest of all fowls sings the clear-voiced nightingale, so much has thy coming gladdened me! To thee have I hastened as the traveller hastens under the burning sun to the shadow of the ilex tree.

Ah, would that equally the Loves may breathe upon us twain, may we become a song in the ears of all men unborn.

Idyl XII: The Passionate Friend, Theocritus (3rd century BCE), trans. by Andrew Lang

Jupiter kissing Ganymede, Raffaelle da Montelupo (1505–1566)

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