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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
The Love of Simætha
By Theocritus (fl. Third Century B.C.)
From the Second Idyl: Translation of Andrew Lang

DELPHIS troubled me, and I against Delphis am burning this laurel; and even as it crackles loudly when it has caught the flame, and suddenly is burned up, and we see not even the dust thereof,—lo, even thus may the flesh of Delphis waste in the burning!  1
  My magic wheel, draw home to me the man I love!  2
  Even as I melt this wax, with the god to aid, so speedily may he by love be molten, the Myndian Delphis! And as whirls this brazen wheel, so restless, under Aphrodite’s spell, may he turn and turn about my doors.  3
  My magic wheel, draw home to me the man I love!
*        *        *        *        *
  Three times do I pour libation, and thrice, my Lady Moon, I speak this spell:—Be it with a friend that he lingers, be it with a leman he lies, may he as clean forget them as Theseus, of old, in Dia—so legends tell—did utterly forget the fair-tressed Ariadne.  5
  My magic wheel, draw home to me the man I love!  6
  Coltsfoot is an Arcadian weed that maddens, on the hills, the young stallions and fleet-footed mares. Ah! even as these may I see Delphis; and to this house of mine may he speed like a madman, leaving the bright palæstra.  7
  My magic wheel, draw home to me the man I love!  8
  This fringe from his cloak Delphis lost; that now I shred and cast into the cruel flame. Ah, ah, thou torturing Love, why clingest thou to me like a leech of the fen, and drainest all the black blood from my body?  9
  My magic wheel, draw home to me the man I love!  10
  Lo, I will crush an eft, and a venomous draught to-morrow I will bring thee!  11
  But now, Thestylis, take these magic herbs and secretly smear the juice on the jambs of his gate (whereat, even now, my heart is captive, though nothing he recks of me), and spit and whisper, “’Tis the bones of Delphis that I smear.”…  12
  The Thracian servant of Theucharidas—my nurse that is but lately dead, and who then dwelt at our doors—besought me and implored me to come and see the show. And I went with her, wretched woman that I am, clad about in a fair and sweeping linen stole, over which I had thrown the holiday dress of Clearista.  13
  Bethink thee of my love, and whence it came, my Lady Moon!  14
  Lo! I was now come to the mid-point of the highway, near the dwelling of Lycon, and there I saw Delphis and Eudamippus walking together. Their beards were more golden than the golden flower of the ivy; their breasts (they coming fresh from the glorious wrestler’s toil) were brighter of sheen than thyself, Selene!  15
  Bethink thee of my love, and whence it came, my Lady Moon!  16
  Even as I looked I loved, loved madly, and all my heart was wounded, woe is me! and my beauty began to wane. No more heed took I of that show, and how I came home I know not; but some parching fever utterly overthrew me, and I lay abed ten days and ten nights.  17
  Bethink thee of my love, and whence it came, my Lady Moon!  18

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