Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AD LESBIAM, by GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AD LESBIAM, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Equal to jove that youth must be
Last Line: And feels a temporary death.
Alternate Author Name(s): Catullus, Caius Valerius
Variant Title(s): Lesbia
Subject(s): Sappho (610-580 B.c.)

EQUAL to Jove that youth must be --
Greater than Jove he seems to me --
Who, free from Jealousy's alarms,
Securely views thy matchless charms.
That cheek, which ever dimpling glows,
That mouth, from whence such music flows,
To him, alike, are always known,
Reserved for him, and him alone.
Ah, Lesbia! though 't is death to me,
I cannot choose but look on thee;
But at the sight my senses fly;
I needs must gaze, but, gazing, die;
Whilst trembling with a thousand fears,
Parch'd to the throat my tongue adheres,
My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short,
My limbs deny their slight support,
Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread,
With deadly languor droops my head,
My ears with tingling echoes ring,
And life itself is on the wing;
My eyes refuse the cheering light,
Their orbs are veil'd in starless night:
Such pangs my nature sinks beneath,
And feels a temporary death.

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