John of Damascus, On the 8 Forms of Evil’s Spirits

1. It happens, my brother, that there are eight states of mind which make war on a brother, just like the church Fathers claim. First is gluttony; second, evil and base lust; third, greed; fourth, grief; sixth, laziness; seventh, arrogance; and the eighth, vanity.

2. So you ought to know, you monk, and focus on how much pain is inflicted and stirred up by our enemies and spirits of evil, and what sort of intention your mind feels disposed towards.

3. Even, if you feel, say, that you are being riled up by gluttony and with over-indulgence, straighten your stomach up, setting limits for food and drink in amount, within measure; keep a continuing recollection of the soul’s unconscious, both of future decision-making and fear of hell-fire; but likewise as well, say, for the desired will of heavens’ kingdom. For you are yet unable to overcome pleasures of the paunch, and may be loathsome.

4. But if you are once again overcome by the the shameful spirit and by low-down desire, strengthen bodily discipline, and contrition of spirit, and vigilance, after fervent prayer; in return, too, use them to handle irreverence, and misjudging someone or slandering them, or being wholly offensive, with these acts in turn. Yet consider death too, and welcome thirsting eagerly; and desire not to approach women at all, or even should you be free just to meet face to face, may you wish to get out of it.

5. And if you wish to overcome money-grubbing, cherish poverty, and welcome imperfection; and think of the judgment of Judah and how he presented the Lord, by means of it, unto the lawless; reflect on how every greedy and idolatrous man is called before the divine Writ; note also that it berefts us of our hope in God, and that the possession of material goods is mighty temporary, but for the money-grubbers, the punishment is unending; so then, by reckoning these reasons, and through seeking autocracy alone no longer, you shall overcome feeling this experience.

6.1 Now if you are troubled by worldly pain again, and are crying, you ought to pray constantly, and put all hope towards God, and to practice the message of the holy Scriptures; and you should be involved with the devout monks and ones who fear the Lord, and the people present all, so as not to undervalue their worth, and to conceive of the enjoyment in heaven, and the rewards of the righteous. And if you are hit by someone, or disrespected, or rejected, be not aggrieved, but rather take heart: but your grief only hurts when you are not right with God; for in this way, you will be able to change from feeling like this in spirit.

6.2 But when you might get riled up again by desire or quick temper, apply sympathy, and do service for the brethren, and if possible, wash their feet in humility consistently, and seek agreeable pardon from every person, and continually look into the feeble ones, & sing the psalms with feeling — immediately shall you be released from the feeling.

7. And if you wish to overcome anxiety, get to work on any little old handicraft, or read something, and pray regularly with secure hope of the right goods; consider both those giving up the ghost, and the pathway and suffocation of the wayward, how they are without mercy and punished, and thus will you have reprieve from suffering.

8. But if you become mighty tyrannical because of vanity and praise from men, you must not do anything to prove it to people: instead you should do all your good works in secret, no one else aware at all, save God alone; and welcome neither fawning praise, nor honors of men, nor fine clothes, nor place of honor and the best seat; rather instead, welcome men to find fault with you and accuse you and dishonor you falsely: even consider yourself more wayward than any sinner.

9. But if you find yourself assailed by diabolical passion of the most excessive arrogance, you ought not attack, nor judge, nor look down on anyone at all, but rather consider oneself as ransom for all humanity and be aware continually that unless the Lord built the house, the builders came for nothing; also, that you think of yourself as a debtor at all times, worthless in the sight of God and men’s. Also, don’t be proud, until the moment you hear full sentence — when you look upon that man, who even after lying there in the bride-chamber, is bound by the hands and feet, and even being cast out into eternal darkness; and whenever you fast or keep vigil or prostrate self or sing or continue enduring or pray begging for forgiveness, or do some good thing in other respects, do not argue that it may have happened from my own personal labor, or because of private wishes, but rather comes about from out of God’s support and assistance, and not of my eager zeal. Be always ever zealous, brother, to remain simple and pure at all times; and do not keep one thing in your heart, another in your mouth: for this is a tricky matter; and, doing this like so, will you escape destruction and a bad situation.

On the sensations, some are bodily and some, psychological; and we say the body’s passions are gluttony, fornication, inebriation, immorality; mental feelings are hatred towards one’s neighbor, jealousy, anger, vanity, pride. Now these influences do they work into our soul, — absent grace and self-control; and also, the emotions from fasting and prayer. For at that time the mind accepts its light proper, and looks on God free from obstruction.

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Prologue to Christus Patiens

Since after having heard in piety of verses poetically
made, you now are willing to pay attention to sacred
duties, listen intently: and do now, like Euripides,
tell of the passion whose experience saved the world,
whence you will learn, for the most part, of the
mystical sayings, as from Madonna-maiden mouth
of a novice girl, whom the Instructor is fond of.
For argument will presently establish her first,
in a way fit for a mother at the right moment, while
she bewails sufferings and panorama of destined outset,[10]
as she goes weeping from the mountainside, so that
she appears to be in reality the cause of the Word, &
presently sees this one suffering undeservedly;
now if we have not been by carelessness overcome,
we might not indict fate right from the start; and
lest we be corrupted by the serpent’s trickery, let
not ruin make entrance with the wiles of the beast — and
let us support destiny with righteous judgment, that
evil itself not remain in uncorruptible state, unless
the life-giving Lord, Word God, will both be made[20]
mortal and endure to the end, which makes the
corruptible that loves the good impervious to
sin and gives true life unto the race of mortal men;
and as he awaits inexhaustible, the Word, this
woman was not disclosed as mother of the Lord;
and when seeing presently that this man suffers un-
justly, bemoaning does she cry aloud, all worn out.
The personages of my dramatization, are they
thus: wholly pure mother, unmarried hand-maiden,
young ladies attendant on the Lord’s mother.[30]

Pindar, Introduction to the 1st Pythian

Golden Lyre, rightful joint possession of Apollo and the
Muses in their locks woven with violets: first
Authority hears resplendent steps,
But the dancers persuaded by sure
Signs of the chorus-leading introductions sing
Whenever you prepare to chant a prelude
Trembling and you extinguish the darting thunder of
Eternal flame; the eagle of Zeus sleeps up-
On its thundering scepter and
Speeding wings go lax on either of his sides,

Most lordly of birds, and you pour down upon its curving head
Darkening cloud, sweet closure to bar shut eyes;
But as it sleeps raising its fluid back,
Feathers rippling, is held back by
The force of your rush. But even vi’lent Ares
After leaving behind pointed spear and sword
Warms the heart inside of his chest with slumber
And arrows also bewitch divine ones’ wits
Over the knowledge of Le-
To’s son and folds draping low from Muses’ breast.

But the living things that Zeus has chosen not to love are struck
Dumb with fear at the cries of the Pierian
Ladies both when on land and
Irresistible ocean; and he who lies in Tartarus’
Torments, enemy to the gods — Typhos with his
One-hundred heads whom the Turkish caves so well-known reared up e’en now
Truly to the sea-sweeping banks about Cumae,
Sicilian shores both weigh upon his
Many chest, the heavenly pillar which holds him in place,
Snowy Aetna that nurses frost atop its piercing peak the year long…

Chorus I – from Sophocles, Elektra

Chorus
Oh child, Elektra, daughter of
Mis’rable mother: What melting, a waste!,
Of such voratious grief unful-
Fill’d, taken long ago by deceiving mother
In wicked tricks — betrayed by evil’s hand, do you
Always cry for Agamemnon? Let perpetrators so
Perish if right is that I dare say!
Elektra
You children of noble ones,
Who have come as consolation for my distress;
I know, am also aware of these facts: What does
Not escape me? — I will not abandon, no I
Won’t stop shouting out wretched grief for my poor father.
But, oh! You ex-
Change ev’ry kind, type of friendliness for favor
You must let me come undone
My pain, now I beg.

Chorus
But surely you’ll not resurrect
Your father from death’s universal lake
By screaming or crying prayers;
No, from common cries of grief always calling out
Unbearable, distressing pain you turn into
Nothing isn’t release from harsh, suffocating evils.
What share of troubles do you grant me?

Elektra
An infant that always for-
Gets whose parents have departed to leave her. Tho’
The mournful tune has collected my heart and mind,
Which always makes the willows mourn-fully lament
With terrified nightingale, god’s own messenger
& oh — suffer-
Ing Niobe I take you as woodland God of
Grief who, in your tomb of stone,
Always do you weep!

Chorus
It’s not solely yours,
Child, mortals’ wailing din of grief
That you are more, too inward over those in-
Side your home from same origin & blood in
Which Chrysotemis and Ifianassa live to this day hid-
Den also blessed, a grieving
Youth whom the famed land of
Mycenae will one day take
Back noble his own homeland happily having
Seen through kind, guiding step of Zeus this country, Orestes!
Elektra
‘s why I wait for him unceasingly barren and
Suffering unwed always I wander, go
Sopping with tears endlessly carry ever my
Doom is made of troubles; and my fate – which he has
Experienced and learned – does he forget. But what
Word of news do I receive that is not a trick?
& in yearning eternal —
But he longs not enough to appear.

Chorus
Take heart’s courage child,
For me, still is God in heaven
Great — who carrying conducts all things and rules;
And in imparting him your bilious rage
Must you neither surfeit on anger nor forget whom you hate:
Kindly time is a handy god.
But neither’s he who holds the
Oxen-grazed hill near Delphi,
Agamemnon’s child, yet to return regardless
Nor has the Chieftain deified throughout the Underworld
Elektra
But the bulk of life has already left me forsaken
Hopeless living and I have not enough strength,
Whichever she falls in tears without children is
Whose beloved man stands not in defense of her;
No, as some alien stranger I manage my
Father’s palace wastefully unworthy & so thus
Arm’d with, in unseemly
Garb stand around tables seem empty.

Chorus
Sorrow’s cry for voyage home
And sorrowing at ancestral
Abodes when the strike of brazen blade tore in-
To him; cunning it was devised,
Lasciviousness the preparations made,
Terribly clever did they beget a terrifying trickery in kind.
Then whether it were a god or some man,
He it was who did this…
Elektra
Oh that most heinously despised day of
All has arrived, hateful to me;
And night, dead weights’ distress of un-
Utt’rable feast:
Look and see, my father dear!,
Those lowly deaths from a pair of paired hands
Which steal, have seized my liveliness ‘s
Captive and they have ruined me:
Would that the greatest God of Olympos
Give punishment to suffer recompense
That they never may dismiss glorious trappings
For such acts as they’ve accomplished!

Chorus‘”
Will that you no further cry.
Are you unaware from what kind
Of manner you presently fall so
Ignominously into ruin?
A very bit too much of woes you acquire
In constant labor pains your soul’s
Sadness makes conflicts, but these rivalries aren’t
Strong enough to fight power.
Elektra“‘
Daring in danger I was forced,
Recall? My mood does not forget.
No, in but dire chance shall not accept
My being ruined
While life is clinging to me.
For by whose ever, oh beloved loving kin,
Opportune perceiving might I
Hear a worthy word to profit?
Give release, release me you comforters!
But these things ever will’ve been relentless;
Never will I yet abandon my labor in-
Finite, I do sing this mourning.

Chorus
Then, though I mean well & speak
As faithful, a mother were
That you not bear losses to ruin
Elektra
I’d be shamed for these things and not
(should I cling to good as use) live
With them at peace if I have to re-
Strain the flights of piercing cries for dis-
Respecting my forebears.
For if the man who died is but earth and no-thing,
He must be suffering;
Would they not pay back
Again recompense for murder,
Holiness and just-
Ice will bleed away from all mortals.

Anna Comnena, Preface

Flowing, time unrestrained and ever-moving checks and differentiates all things in creation and drowns them in the depths of obscurity, where there are both things which deserve not to be spoken of and great matters worthy of memory; and it even begets things unseen, like the tragedian says, and hides that which is visible. But actually the story of history becomes the strongest defense against the flow of time, and in a way sets up time’s irresistible flow as well as all other things subject to it; as many as its tale has tied up it holds and binds together and does not permit them to vanish into the depths of being forgotten. And after coming to realize these facts, I — Anna, daughter of sovereigns Alexius and Irene, was both born and raised in the purple, being somewhat experienced in letters, and even eager to carry my Greecianization to the utmost — I am not ignorant of rhetoric: I read the works of Aristotle and Plato’s dialogues, having enwrapt my mind in the four-tiered form of knowledge (since it is necessary to swear these things are real and no bragging in fact, as many as nature and my zeal for knowledge have given me; which God arranged from the beginning and time brought as well.) I want this, my writing, to recount the deeds, my father’s, that are not worthy of being betrayed to silence, nor held back in the flow of time as though into the sea of no recollection, both all the deeds he practiced after taking the scepter and as many actions, before taking the crown, as he performed for other royal personages. And I am going to relate these actions, not as a display of my training in discourses, but that so great a matter not be left without testimony for generations to come, since even the greatest works are consumed by the darkness of silence unless they be guarded in a sense by words and handed down to memory. For my father knew, as matters themselves proved to be, how to rule and obey, to the necessary extent, the authorities. But by even mentioning his acts in writing, I am afraid of suspicion and conniving both, that someone at some time might argue she is writing in praise of her own affairs and not my father’s, and entirely falsely think that the matter of history and praise are incommensurate — if I should be a bit impressed with that man’s accomplishments. But certainly if he himself undertook it he would also do violence to the matter, so that some of that man’s actions might be a bit blamed, not on his account, but by the nature of the matter. — I am afraid again that the disbelievers will bring up Noah’s son Ham for me, all of them looking at it wrong in relation to everyone and not seeing aright because of malice and envy: they, as Homer said, blame one blameless. Because when someone takes up the character of history, it is often necessary to forget affection and enmity, and to decorate their enemies with the greatest praise, when the deeds merit this, and as often needed to question one’s most familiar relations when the errors of their practices demand this: that is why one must not fail to blame one’s loved ones nor praise one’s enemies. I would reconcile both these men and those, the ones attacked by us and those on our side, with the events themselves and those who witnessed matters by consulting with them and the facts. Some of them are still alive; some of their contemporaries have become fathers, others — grandfathers. In particular, I came to the story of the deeds of my father from the following causes: I had a husband, joined according to the laws, Caesar Nicephorus, an offshoot of the Bryenni, a man whose superior beauty, quickness of wit and pinpoint manner of reasoning, speech far surpassed that of his contemporaries. I mean, he was a marvel to see and hear. So that my explanation not get off track, let us get hold of what comes next right now: so, he was incredibly conspicuous among all, and went on campaign with John the Emperor, my brother, when he waged an attack on other foreign peoples, and what is more, he made an advance against Syria, and re-took the city of Antioch by law. But Caesar certainly did not know how to dismiss the written word either at times of toil or trouble and he even wrote some various things worthy of memory and mention; but he especially liked to write about the affairs of Alexius — the autocrat of Romans; and he wrote about my father by the Queen’s command and set the deeds of his kingdom in books whenever the proper time gave him a brief break from weapons and war to look over his compositions and certain wordy labors. What is more, he began the writing by taking up the story from the times that came before, even in this particular obeying the order of the Queen; he started from the time of Diogenes, the Romans’ Emperor, going down to Alexius himself, about whom he had formed an intention: because, at the time, even time held my father in bloom of youth as a young boy. But with respect to matters before this, he was not yet a boy and did nothing worthy of writing about, unless one set a speech of praise out of his childhood. Caesar’s goal was such as the writing of this man asserts. Indeed, disappointed of his hope, he did not finish the history completely; rather, he brought the tale down to the times of the Emperor Nicephorus Botaniates and at that point left its writing, — opportunity giving no time to improve the writing further, — both doing great harm to the deeds which concerned his writing, and robbing his readers of enjoyment. On account of this myself, I elected to compose as many things as my father did, so that such noble deeds not escape future generations. What sort of pleasing note it hits, and however much favor the words of Caesar retain, do all familiar with the historical writings of that man know for certain. But before coming to this, just as I said, he outlined the composition, brought it back to us half-finished from abroad; brought back also, I imagine, a deadly disease from the unlimited suffering, the uncomfortable campaigns, and from his untold concern over us. His concern was innate and its toils were relentless, and in addition there were also extremes of weather that mixed his lethal cup of poison. He did go on expedition to Syria; and then Syria handed him over, still sick, to the people of Cilicia — the Cilicians giving him up to the Pamphylians, Pamphylians to the Lydians and Lydia to Bithynia; Bithynia to the Queen of cities and to us: yet in a state of suffering from the intense agony. Although he was this weakened, he still wanted to play his own tragedian in the events that befell him, on the one hand being a bit sick, and incapable of it — on the other, we prevented it a bit in fear that he might open up the ache by thinking aloud. I have just fallen into a dizziness, my mind, and I am blind in my eyes for the rivulets of tears. Oh what a counselor did Constantinople lose in him, his insightful experience about real events and as much as that man was destined for; knowledgeable about words, stories and multi-faceted in wisdom, — I mean for sure his awareness of foreign places, as well as our own court! Oh, even the grace running throughout his features and form so unlike a tyrant, as some do say… but his appearance was both more powerful and divine. Therefore, I got used to many different conversations with danger ever since my birth in and from the purple, so to speak: I got used to less than great fortune; unless someone supposed it is not a great fate that was smiling upon me, and Royalty itself; and having as sovereigns who begat me, and the purple upon which I was implanted; since the rest is sadly just storms and, how sad, revolutions. Orpheus, by singing, moved stones and woods, quite simply inanimate nature; but Timotheus the flutist played a popular Athenian tune once for Alexander, and moved Macedon to weapons immediately brandishing his sword: but the part about the narrative according to me is an irrelevant motion, not to take arms and fight, but that it would move the listener to tears and compel not only a perceptual reader, but even one who has no soul, to feeling. However, my grief for Caesar and the unexpected death that befell him have put my soul down and brought about a painful descent into the depths. And I consider the previous misfortunes in relation to this insatiable disaster as the wave in relation to the entire Atlantic, or the billows of the Adriatic Sea. But rather, so it seems, those things were the preface to these matters; and the smoke from the heat of this fire, and that which burns with an unspeakable blaze, and that burning smoke of the unfed fire and the daily sparks of the unspeakable pyre fill me with anxiety. Dear fuelless fire reducing to ashes, oh fire born as a torch among mysteries and burning, you torch even the heart without burning it, provide the appearance that we are not scorched; though we receive it unto the charring of bones and marrow and cleaving of soul. However, I perceive that I have let my feelings carry me away from my subject, even Caeser who knew me and the grief for Caesar have set me up for resounding pain. So therefore having wiped the flowing of my eyes and continuing with my experiences in order I will have, as the tragedian says, the advantage — double tears, like she who remembers the unfortunate event of a disaster. Since with respect to the placement of a theme in the face of such a King, who was so great, is to recall him in relation to virtue and the marvels accomplished through that man; though it also brings me to warming tears to weep along with my household in its entirety. But to recollect that man and bring his Kingdom to the forefront is the theme of my lamentation, and a memory of others’ loss. Now at this point the history of my father’s story must begin, from here it is best to start: better to start from where the account will be more clear and historical.

Theokritos XV

Is Praxinoa in? Dear Gorgoi what timing, come inside.
I am impressed that you came; Eunoa see to it that she
has a chair with a cushion. How lovely! Do have a seat.
Oh, my light-hearted wits; I barely made it to you alive,
Praxinoa, thru the bustling mob and the horse carts; all
the soldiers’ uniforms and all of the chariot drivers. The
road never sleeps! And you live so away far from me.
That wild horse of a man went to the ends of the earth
for this hole (not a home!) so that we wouldn’t live next
to each other out of spite, jealousy; he will never change.
Don’t talk about your husband like that in front of the
little one, my dear friend, don’t you see how he looks at
you? Cheer up Zopurion, sweetie; she didn’t mean daddy.
My child understands, by Perseph… He is a fine dad.
Well ‘father’ just th’other day (we always speak of the
past) left the house to go buy soap and blush, but he comes
home to us carrying a bag of salt—the man is 13-feet dense!
Mine’s the same, Diocleidas: he is a bastard with money.
Just yesterday he bought for seven drachmas a-piece five
fleeces made of old purses, the dregs!, just more work for
me, but come on. Get your dress and jacket on, it is time to
go to the rich house of our lavish king Ptolemy, so that we
can see the Adonis festival; I hear the Queen is putting on
a gorgeous service. So it is, blessed at the house of the
blessed—what you see’s what you tell to who didn’t see it.
So it’s about time to go. It is always a holiday for the lazy.
Eunoa, take the yarn back to the middle of the room, you
worthless thing (cats always begging for a soft place to
sleep). C’mon now! Bring the water more quickly—I ask for
water & she brings soap! Give it here, don’t pour too much,
you mis’rable waste; what are you washing my dress now?
Stop! Gods would think any thing like this had been baptized.
Where is the key to the big trunk? So bring it here then.
Praxinoa, that dress with the pleated skirt fits you so very
well; do tell me how much it cost you off of the loom?
I would like to forget, Gorgoi; more than a penny or two of
hard cash, not to mention the work I poured myself out for.
I thought you did not want to speak of it. You said that right.
Bring my dress and breton, now put them on me, how lovely!
I won’t take you, little monster: the horse will bite. Cry and
kick as much as you want, there’s no need to break your
foot. Let’s go; Anatolia, take the little one to play.
Call the dog inside now, and make sure you lock the gate.
Oh, gods, such a rush of the crowd! When, and how, should we
try to break thru this mob? They’re ants, endlessly uncounted!
Quite a few gorgeous works, Ptolemy, have been finished by
you since your father went to th’immortals; no criminal lurking
harms travelers like they like to do, those Egyptian folk and
the tricks that they pull, nothing but a big ball of deception;
every one of them is alike: wicked game’s what they’re into.
But sweetest Gorgoi, what will become of us? Here’s the palace
horses led by the King’s guard. Kind sir, don’t run me over!
(A fire-crotch always stands upright.) Look at the country
bum, it’s a wild-dog; Eunoa, do back off, he is going after
the first one. I am so very glad that my baby’s at home.
Take cheer, Praxinoa; we’re behind them now that they have come
into position & I’m already starting to get a hold of myself.
Horses and the chilling snake have I always feared since a child;
but let’s make tracks, the huge crowd’s streaming right by us.
Out & about ol’ mother? I am dear children. Is it tough
to get in? The Greeks made it inside of Troy just by trying.
My beautiful child—try everything to accomplish.
Th’elder lady disappeared right after she prophesied!
Women know everything—even how Zeus married with Hera.
Look Praxinoa, how many people are crowding the entrance.
O, holy crowd! Gorgoi, give me your hand & take mine.
Eunoa, grab hold of Faustine, tight so you are not
separated. Every one of us will enter together.
Stay close by Eunoa. Oh me, my—my sun-dress is al-
ready torn, Gorgoi! For the love of Zeus, if you would
be nice enough, kind sir: Watch out for my dress please.
It’s not up to me, but I’ll watch it alright. Crowded mob,
they’re herding like sows! Cheer up, lady we are just fine.
You ought to be fine yourself, dear man, for your days wi’the
way you’re watching over us: Mercy, I’m in need of a good man.
Eunoa is squashing us; go force your way in, you timid wretch; oh
wonderful: “All ladies in!” the man said shutting the door on his bride.
Praxinoa, come o’er here first; look at the tapestries, how
fine and glamorous! You’ll say they are robes of the great gods!
Dear lady Athena, how many servants worked on such labor?
How many designers to depict such vivid, detailed artwork?
How life-like do they stand and how realistic seem to move
like life, not designs! Humankind certainly is a clever piece
of work; and lying on his silver couch, what a marvelous
man sprouting soft down from along his jaw and chin
is Adonis three-times loved & was adored, even in Hades.
Oh stop, you awful ladies, prattling on endlessly like
doves; they will wear us out with all their ‘Ah-a’ talk.
My, oh—where does this one get off? What is it to you
if we chat? Go buy a slave to give commands. You’re order-
ing women from Syracuse around. You ought know this: We’re
from Corinth by descent & so was Bellerephon. We talk like
we’re from Sparta; it’s fitting, I think, for Dorians to
be Dorian? Persphone, don’t let some man become our lord
except one; I’m done with you, don’t wear down my store!
Quiet Praxinoa, she is about to sing Adonis’ song—the
Greek woman’s daughter, a well-known songstress; last
year she took the prize for performing best lament, I know
she will make her clear vowels rise: she’s getting ready.

My lady, who lov’d Idalion and Golgos,
tall Eryx: Aphrodite playing golden—how
tender-treading did the Hours bring Adonis
to you from Acheron after a full year, slow-
est of the Blessed, beloved Hours, but so
desired do approach all mortals and bear
a gift; O Cyprus, Dion’s daughter, you
made Berenice deathless (so the tale), a mor-
tal by dripping into her breast ambrosial nectar.

And delighting in your many names and temples,
Berenice’s daughter Arsinoe, gorgeous en-
tirely like Helen, fawns o’er Adonis;
around him lie fruits the tree-tops bear &
flower gardens tended of soft baskets in
silver, gold vials of Syrian perfume,
cakes that the women slaved over in tins
with which combining every type of blossom,
they mix them sweet with honey and olive oil in

Shapes of things that fly or creep are placed before
him, leaf-green parasols set up, laden
with anise sweet; and lads, the loves, that soar
like nightingales fly from the towering
trees assaying their wings from twig to twig;
oh ebony, oh gold, oh two ivory eagles
bearing Zeus a boy to bring his cup!, the rugs
of purple will Miletos call “More soft
than sleep,” & so does he who herds sheep in Samos.

Another bed is strewn for beautiful Adonis,
one that Cyprus keeps, one for Adonis’ pink
arms—a love of eighteen or nineteen—his kisses
do not chafe, a light beard around red lips;
and now that Cyprus holding farewell bids
her groom we will crowd with morning dew
outdoors, carry to the gurgrling waves’
shore with hair flowing, robes unfurled to
the knees, bare-bosomed will we begin our ringing tune.

You crawl, Adonis dear, from here and in
to Acheron’s stream, they say, alone of demi-
gods; this not to Agamemnon, nor great raging
Aias, nor Hector, eldest of Hekabe’s twenty
sons; nor Patroclus, nor Pyrrhus who from Troy
returned, nor heroes before—Lapiths, Deucalion’s
or Pelop’s sons, nor Argive Pelasgian chiefs:
Be loved Adonis now, in new year kind! You’ve
come Adonis, when you arrive you will have been loved. . . .