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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On an Antique Medal
By José-Maria de Heredia (1842–1905)
 
Translation of Maurice Francis Egan

THE WINE which gave the antique ecstasy
  To great Theocritus, in purple gold
  Still ripens on Mount Ætna;—none can hold
The gracious girls he sang in Sicily!
Greek Arethusa, slave or mistress free,        5
  Lost the pure profile of ancestral mold,
  Mixed in her veins of Angevin, proud and bold,
And Saracenic, burning furiously.
Time goes; all dies; marble itself decays;
  A shadow Agrigentum! Syracuse        10
    Sleeps, still in death, beneath her kind sky’s shades;—
But the hard metal guards through all the days—
  Silver grown docile unto love’s own use—
    The immortal beauty of Sicilian maids.
 
 
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