Accountant of Love

Anacreonta 14

“If you know how to count
All the leaves of the trees,
If you know how to number
The waves of every sea,
Then I will make you alone
The accountant of my loves.

First, from Athens
Put down twenty
And add fifteen others too.
Then there’s a whole parade
Of lovers from Corinth.
The women are fine in Achaea.
Add in my sweethearts
From Lesbos and Ionia
Those in Caria and Rhodes,
Two thousand or so.

Wait, what are you saying?
You’re in shock?
And I haven’t even counted Syria
Or my passions in Cabobus and Crete
The place that has everything.
Where Love parties in every city.

Why would you want me to add
My loves beyond Cadiz
Or all those in Bactria and India too?”

εἰ φύλλα πάντα δένδρων
ἐπίστασαι κατειπεῖν,
εἰ κύματ᾿ οἶδας εὑρεῖν
τὰ τῆς ὅλης θαλάσσης,
σὲ τῶν ἐμῶν ἐρώτων
μόνον ποῶ λογιστήν.

πρῶτον μὲν ἐξ Ἀθηνῶν
ἔρωτας εἴκοσιν θὲς
καὶ πεντεκαίδεκ᾿ ἄλλους.
ἔπειτα δ᾿ ἐκ Κορίνθου
θὲς ὁρμαθοὺς ἐρώτων·
Ἀχαΐης γάρ ἐστιν,
ὅπου καλαὶ γυναῖκες.
τίθει δὲ Λεσβίους μοι
καὶ μέχρι τῶν Ἰώνων
καὶ Καρίης Ῥόδου τε
δισχιλίους ἔρωτας·

τί φῄς; ἐκηριώθης;
οὔπω Σύρους ἔλεξα,
οὔπω πόθους Κανώβου,
οὐ τῆς ἅπαντ᾿ ἐχούσης
Κρήτης, ὅπου πόλεσσιν
Ἔρως ἐποργιάζει.

τί σοι θέλεις ἀριθμῶ
καὶ τοὺς Γαδείρων ἐκτός,
τῶν Βακτρίων τε κἰνδῶν
ψυχῆς ἐμῆς ἔρωτας;

Nicolaes Maes, “The Account Keeper” 1657

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