Friday, 5 January 2018

Cynthia Bathing - Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim

From her fair limbs the last thin veil she drew,
  And naked stood in all her charms confess’d,
The wanton gales her ringlets backward blew,
  To sport themselves more freely on her breast:
From each warm beauty of the uncovered maid,
  Before scarce guessed at, or but seen in part,
From all, for all was to my eyes displayed,
  Delicious poison trickled to my heart:
Since thus I gazed, (was mine to gaze the blame?),
  Nor bliss my soul hath tasted, nor repose;
The subtle venom glides through all my frame,
  And in my brain a fiery deluge glows:
Thou, who my pangs wouldst shun, with wiser care
The spot, where Cynthia bathes at noon, beware.

Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719–1803) Germany
Translated by Thomas Russell
Source: Samuel Waddington (editor), The Sonnets of Europe. London: Walter Scott, 1888

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