Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
The Reconciliation
By Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 B.C.)
 
(Ode IX. Book III; translated by Sir Theodore Martin, 1881)

HORACE
WHILST I was dear and thou wert kind,
  And I, and I alone might lie
Upon thy snowy breast reclined,
  Not Persia’s king so blest as I.
 
LYDIA
Whilst I to thee was all in all,
        5
  Nor Chloë might with Lydia vie,
Renowned in ode or madrigal,
  Not Roman Ilia famed as I.
 
HORACE
I now am Thracian Chloë’s slave,
  With hand and voice that charms the air,        10
For whom even death itself I’d brave,
  So fate the darling girl would spare!
 
LYDIA
I dote on Calaïs—and I
  Am all his passion, all his care,
For whom a double death, I’d die,        15
  So fate the darling boy would spare!
 
HORACE
What, if our ancient love return,
  And bind us with a closer tie,
If I the fair-haired Chloë spurn,
  And as of old for Lydia sigh?        20
 
LYDIA
Though lovelier than yon star is he,
  Thou fickle as an April sky,
More churlish, too, than Adria’s sea,
  With thee I’d live, with thee I’d die!
 
 
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