Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
From “The Songs of Bilitis”
XCIX. I Sing of My Flesh and My Life
By Pierre Louÿs (1870–1925)
(1894. Translated from the French by Horace Manchester Brown. 1904)

SURELY I will not sing of famous lovers of the past. If they are no more, why speak of them? Am I not like unto them? Have I not enough to do to think of myself?
  Pasiphae, I will forget thee, although thy passion was extreme. Syrinx, I will not praise thee, nor thee, Byblis, nor—by the goddess chosen before all—thee, O Helene of the white arms.  2
  If any among ye have suffered, I feel it not. If any of ye have loved, I have loved more. I sing of my flesh and of my life, and not of the sterile shadows of buried loves.  3
  Lie at ease, O my body, following thy voluptuous mission! Taste thy daily pleasure and thy passion without tomorrow. Leave not a single joy unknown, lest it be regretted at the day of thy death.  4

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