To G--, her unique rose,
A-- sends the bonds of precious love.
What strength have I that I may bear it,
That I may endure your absence?
Is my strength the strength of stones
That I can wait for your return?
I never cease from aching, night and day,
Like someone missing a hand and foot.
Without you anything happy or delightful
Seems like mud trod underfoot.
Instead of rejoicing I weep;
My spirit never seems joyful.
When I remember the kisses you gave me,
The way you refreshed my little breasts with sweet words,
I would like to die
Since I cannot see you.
What should I, most wretched, do?
Where should I, most poor, do?
O, if my body had been committed to earth
Until your longed-for return,
Or if I could go on a journey like Habakkuk,
So that just once I could come to where
I saw the face of my lover,
Then I would not care if I died that very hour.
For there is no one who has been born in the world
Who is so lovable and dear,
No one who without feigning
Loves me with so deep a love.
Therefor, I ache without end
Until I am allowed to see you.
According to one wise man, the worst misery
Is to be far from someone one cannot live without.
As ling as the world endures,
You will never be blotted out from my heart's care.
Why do I linger with so many words?
Come back, sweet love!
Don't put off your journey any longer.
Know that I can no longer endure your absence.
Stehling 113, found in Gay and Lesbian Poetry: An Anthology from Sappho to Michelangelo, edited by James J. Wilhelm.
Friday, May 2, 2008
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