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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Anacreontic
By Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647)
 
Translation of Sir John Bowring

THREE long years have o’erwhelmed me in sadness,
Since the sun veiled his vision of gladness:
Sorrow be banished, for sorrow is dreary;
Sorrow and gloom but outweary the weary.
In my heart I perceive the day breaking;        5
I cannot resist its awaking.
 
On my brow a new sun is arisen,
And bright is its glance o’er my prison;
Gayly and grandly it sparkles about me,
Flowingly shines it within and without me:        10
Why, why should dejection disarm me,
My fears or my fancies alarm me?
 
Laughing lightly, lovely life, in the heaven
Of thy forehead is virtue engraven;
Thy red coral lips, when they breathe an assenting,        15
To me are a dawn which Apollo is painting;
Thy eyes drive the gloom, with their sparkling,
Where sadness and folly sit darkling.
 
Lovely eyes, then the beauties have bound them,
And scattered their shadows around them;        20
Stars, in whose twinklings the virtues and graces,
Sweetness and meekness, all hold their high places:
But the brightest of stars is but twilight
Compared with that beautiful eye-light.
 
Fragrant mouth, all the flowers spring is wreathing        25
Are dull to the sweets thou art breathing;
The charms of thy song might summon the spirit
To sit on the ears all-enchanted to hear it:
What marvel, then, if in its kisses
My soul is o’erwhelmed with sweet blisses?        30
 
Oh how blest, how divine the employment!
How heavenly, how high the enjoyment!
Delicate lips and soft amorous glances,
Kindling and quenching and fanning sweet fancies,
Now, now to my heart’s centre rushing,        35
And now through my veins they are gushing.
 
Dazzling eyes, that but laugh at our ruin,
Nor think of the wrongs ye are doing,
Fountains of gladness and beacons of glory,
How do ye scatter the dark mists before ye!        40
Can my weakness your tyranny bridle?
Oh no! all resistance is idle.
 
Ah! my soul—ah! my soul is submitted;
Thy lips—thy sweet lips—they are fitted
With a kiss to dissolve into joy and affection        45
The dreamings of hope and of gay recollection:
And sure never triumph was purer;
And sure never triumph was surer.
 
I am bound to your beauty completely,
I am fettered and fastened so sweetly;        50
And blessed are the tones, and the looks, and the mind too,
Which my senses control, and my heart is inclined to;
While virtue, the holiest and brightest,
Has fastened love’s fetters the tightest.
 
 
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