“Who shaped the sea?
What maddened craft
Poured waves on its platter?
Who was it over the water’s back
That sketched the shape of soft,
shining Kypris, after turning thoughts
To the gods, the beginning of divine creation?
He made her naked,
Cloaking only as much as it is improper
To see, with the waves.
And she wanders over them,
Like seaweed, pressing
Her soft-skinned body in a voyage
Over the calm white waves,
And shapes a wake in her passing.
A huge wave marks the place
Where her neck meets
Rosy breasts and there
Kypris shines bright amid the calm
In the water’s furrow, like
A lily twisted in the violets.
On the silver surface
Upon dancing dolphins,
Lust, Longing, and Laughter
Ride, sorrowful thoughts for mortals at times,
Along with a curved chorus of fish
Diving into the waves
At play in the very place
Where the Paphian swims while laughing.”
“As I slept through the night
Under sea-purple blankets,
Stretched out, drunk,
I was dreaming I stretched out
Mid-run on a fast course,
On the very tips of my toes.
I was enjoying myself with the girls
But some boys younger
Than Luaios were mocking me,
Teasing me harshly,
Because of those pretty girls.
Then, they all ran away from my dream
When I reached out to kiss them.
They left me alone and poor me,
I only wanted to sleep again.”
“Along with garland bearing spring
I plan to sing clearly
Of her gentle companion, the rose.
This is the immortals’ breath,
This is delight for mortals,
And the Graces’ pride in all seasons,
The lovely plaything
Of blossoming Loves.
This is a theme for myths,
This charming shoot of the Muses,
Sweet to find when one is making
Their way along prickly paths;
Sweet to take in turn, to warm
In gentle hands, pressing
This light flower of Love.
Could we ever be without
The rose at the tables
And feasts of Dionysus?
Dawn is called rosy-toed,
The Nymphs are rosy-armed,
Aphrodite is tinted-rose
When named by people who know.
This pleasure is the same for the ignorant;
This is helpful to the sick too;
This helps protect the dead and
This even fights against time:
For the old age of roses
Retains the charming scent of something new
Come, let’s talk of its creation:
When from the murky sea
The water was giving birth to
Aphrodite dampened with foam,
And Zeus was displaying on his brow
A terror for Olympus to see,
The earth let flower
A new surprising growth of roses,
An intricate creation.
She made the rose to be
Like the blessed gods themselves–
Then Luaios watered it with nektar,
Joining it to the haughty thorn,
a life to last forever.