If Sober, and Inclin’d to Sport by Callimachus

If sober, and inclin’d to sport,
To you, my fair one, I resort;
The still-forbidden bliss to prove,
Accuse me then, and blame my love.
But if to rashness I incline,
Accuse me not, but blame the wine:
When Love and Wine at once inspire,
What mortal can control his fire.
Of late I came, I know not how,
Embrac’d my fair, and kiss’d her too;
It might be wrong; I feel no shame,
And, for the bliss, will bear the blame.

From: Callimachus and Tytler, H. W., The Works of Callimachus, translated into English verse. The Hymns and Epigrams from the Greek; with the Coma Berenices from the Latin of Catallus; with the original text , and notes carefully selected from former commentators, and additional observations, 1793, T. Davison: London, p. 248.

Date: 3rd century BCE (original in Greek); 1793 (translation in English)

By: Callimachus (310/305 BCE-240 BCE)

Translated by: Henry William Tytler (1752-1808)

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