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From “The Odes of Anacreon”. Ode 15
Tell me, why, my sweetest dove, Thus your humid pinions move, Shedding through the air in showers Essence of the balmiest flowers? Tell me whither, whence you rove, Tell me, all, my sweetest dove. Curious stranger, I belong To the bard of Teian song; With his mandate now I fly To the nymph of azure eye; — She, whose eye has madden’d many, But the poet more than any. Venus, for a hymn of love, Warbled in her votive grove, (’twas in sooth a gentle lay,) Gave me to the bard away. See me now his faithful minion, — Thus with softly-gliding pinion, To his lovely girl I bear Songs of passion through the air. Oft he blandly whispers me „Soon, my bird, I’ll set you free”; But in vain he’ll bid me fly, I shall serve him till I die. Never could my plumes sustain Ruffling winds and chilling rain, O’er the plains, or in the dell, On the mountain’s savage swell, Seeking in the desert wood Gloomy shelter, rustic food. Now I lead a life of ease, Far from rugged haunts like these. From Anacreon’s hand I eat Food delicious, viands sweet; Flutter o’er his goblet’s brim, Sip the foamy wine with him. Then, when I have wanton’d round To his lyre’s beguiling sound; Or with gently-moving wings Fann’d the minstrel while he sings: On his harp I sink in slumbers, Dreaming still of dulcet numbers! This is all — away — away You have made me waste the day. How I’ve chatter’d! prating crow Never yet did chatter so.
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