Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy, I find myself inspired in this classical setting;

The ancient world and the present speak so clearly and evocatively to me.

Here I follow the advice to page through the works of the ancients,

With busy hands and daily with renewed joy.

Ah, but throughout the nights, Amor occupies me with other matters.

And if I wind up only half a scholar, I am yet doubly happy.

But do I not provide my own instruction, when I inspect the form

Of her lovely breasts, and guide my hands down her thighs?

Then I understand the marble aright for the first time: I think and compare,

And see with feeling eye, and feel with seeing hand.

Though my beloved steals from me a few hours of the day,

She grants me in recompense hours of the night.

We don't spend all the time kissing, but have intelligent conversation;

When sleep overcomes her, I lie by her side and think over many things.

Often I have composed poetry while in her arms, and have softly beat out

The measure of hexameters, fingering along her spine.

In her lovely slumber, she breathes out, and I inspire

Her warm breath, which penetrates deep into my heart.

Amor trims the lamp and remembers the time

When he performed the same service for his three poets.

-Goethe, Römische Elegien 3.2: 47

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