Friday, September 19, 2014

Helen at play

Two more marvels from the ever beguiling Helen. The passages have been reworked from Perseus and Showerman (Loeb) to approach their complexity. Thanks to Peter d'Epiro for his very helpful suggestions.

     Sic certe felix esse coacta forem.


Wrongs can grace those who suffer them. I surely could have been compelled to happiness. While it's new, let's struggle against this love barely begun! The kindling spark will abate with a little water. Love isn't steadfast in travelers; it wanders like themselves, and just when you feel that nothing could be more firm, it flees.
     A verbis facies dissidet ista tuis.

     Bella gerant fortestuParisemper ama!
     Utererutetursiqua puella sapit — 
You vaunt your valor, and recount your mighty acts: those looks betray your words. Your limbs are more apt for the delights of Venus than for the rude encounters of Mars. Let the strong wage war; you, Paris, always love! Assign Hector, whom you praise, to fight in your place. A different warfare suits those graceful motions. If I were bolder and savvier, I'd use them; any girl with taste would use them! Perhaps, conquered by time, I'll savor them yet -- casting off modesty, I'll give my hot yet hesitant hands to you.
Helen and Aphrodite

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