Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The single cloak

Stay put where I hung you
  above the door, my garlands.
  Don't hurry to shake your petals,
  watered by my tears.
Lovers' eyes rain easily. But when
  you see him open the door,
  let my rain drip on his head;
  that way at least
his blond hair will drink my tears.

 Sweet for the thirsty
 is a drink of snow in summer,
 and sweet for sailors to run before
 spring breezes at winter's end
 But sweeter still is the single cloak
 that hides two lovers as they honor

 Drink. Asclepiades. Tears? What's
   the problem?
   You're hardly the only one
   Aphrodite plundered,
 Hardly the only one piercing Eros
   sighted with his sharpened
   bow and arrows. Still, alive
   why make your bed on ashes?

Let's drink what Bacchus
  offers undiluted. Day-
  light's a finger's
    distance away.
  Why wait for the lamp
  that signals a night's
Let's drink, sad lover. 
  Not far down the road,
  poor soul,
  we'll have an endless
  night to rest.

Asclepiades of Samos
ca 300 - 270 BC
i, iii-iv  Edmund Keeley
ii  Bradley P. Nystrom
The Greek Poets
  Homer to the Present
op. cit.

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