Translations. Arthur Coleman

Let us live, my Lesbia, love
Valuing the stringent judgements
Of frigid elderlies as no more
Than an old browned penny.

Each day suns may fall and
Rise again. When light for us
In brevity sinks, night blankets
Us sleeping into perpetuity.

Give me kisses by the thousand!
Then a hundred more! Another
Thousand! Then twice a hundred!
Compounded upon a hundred thousand!

Once with many million kisses
We are well worn out, we’ll not know,
We’ll not care whether we’re cursed.
All we’ll know is of the bliss of kisses.

Ask me Lesbia, how many kisses
Of yours are enough for me.
The number’s as great as
The grains of lasarpific sands
Lying in the sweltering Libyssian
Deserts among Ammon’s sacred
Temple that Battus, the ancient
Ruler of Cyrene, established;
The number’s as great as
There are stars, when night
In silence watches our furtive
Acts of love. That’s how many
Kisses of yours are enough
For Catullus, mad with passion.
A number sorcerers cannot count
To utter their envious spells.

Hesiod translation:
Immortals abiding in Olympus
Made golden the first race of mortal man.
Living like gods whose hearts know not the woes
Or worries of toil, or dreary sorrow,
Too young yet to have seen the wrinkled face
Of old and decrepit age. Their feet danced
In celebration, their hands reached skyward
In undending praise. Death came with the same
Force that closes in sleep a child’s eyelids.
Goodness filled their lives from within, over
Flowed their gentle hearts and surrounded them.
Agora the fruitful virgin bloomed forth
A ripe bounty that spread over the earth.


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