Some there are who say that the fairest thing seen on the black earth is an array of horsemen; some, men marching; some would say ships; but I say she whom one loves best is the loveliest. Light were the work to make this plain to all, since she, who surpassed in beauty all mortality, Helen, once forsaking her lordly husband, fled away to Troy—land across the water. Not the thought of child nor beloved parents was remembered, after the Queen of Cyprus won her at first sight. Since young brides have hearts that can be persuaded easily, light things, palpitant to passion as am I, remembering Anaktória who has gone from me and whose lovely walk and the shining pallor of her face I would rather see before my eyes than Lydia's chariots in all their glory armored for battle.
[Like the very gods]
Like the very gods in my sight is he who sits where he can look in your eyes, who listens close to you, to hear the soft voice, its sweetness murmur in love and laughter, all for him. But it breaks my spirit; underneath my breast all the heart is shaken. Let me only glance where you are, the voice dies, I can say nothing, but my lips are stricken to silence, under- neath my skin the tenuous flame suffuses; nothing shows in front of my eyes, my ears are muted in thunder. And the sweat breaks running upon me, fever Shakes my body, paler I turn than grass is; I can feel that I have been changed, I feel that death has come near me.