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Thou art come, love, come! Scarce thrice hath dusk to day
Given place--but lovers in an hour grow gray.
As spring's more sweet than winter, grapes than thorns,
The ewe's fleece richer than her latest-born's;
As young girl's charms the thrice-wed wife outshine,
As fawns are lither than the ungainly kine,
Or as the nightingale's shrill notes outvie
The mingled music of all birds that fly;
So at thy coming passing glad was I.
I ran to greet thee e'en as pilgrims run
To beechen shadows from the scorching sun:
Oh if on us accordant Loves would breathe,
And our two names to future years bequeath!


'These twain'--let men say--'lived in olden days
This was a yokel (in their country-phrase)
His sweetheart that, (so talked these simple folk,)
And lovingly they bore a mutual yoke.
The hearts of men were made of sterling gold,
When love bred love, in those brave days of old.'


O Zeus, O gods who age not nor decay!
Let e'en two hundred ages roll away,
But at the last these tidings let me learn,
Borne o'er the fatal pool whence none return:--
"By every tongue thy constancey is sung,
Thine and thy sweetheart's--chiefly by the young."
But lo, the future is in heaven's high hand:
Meanwhile thy graces all my praise demand,
Not false lip-praise, not idly bubbling froth--
For though thy wrath be kindled, e'en thy wrath
Hath no sting in it: doubly I'm caressed,
And go my way repaid with interest.


Oarsmen of Megara, ruled by Nisus erst!
Yours be all bliss, because ye honoured first
That true sweetheart, Athenian Diocles.
Around his gravestone with the first spring-breeze
Flock the girls all, to win the kissing-prize:
And whoso sweetliest lip to lip applies
Goes crown-clad home to her mother. Blest is he
Who in such strife is named the referee:


To brightfaced Ganymede full oft he'll cry,
To lend his lip the potencies that lie
Within that stone with which the usurers
Detect base metal, and which never errs.