When you were mine, in auld lang syne,
And when none else your charms might ogle,
I’ll not deny, fair nymph, that I
Was happier than a heathen mogul.
Before she came, that rival flame
(Had ever mater saucier filia?),
In those good times, bepraised in rhymes,
I was more famed than Mother Ilia.
Chloe of Thrace! With what a grace
Does she at song or harp employ her!
I’d gladly die, if only I
Could live forever to enjoy her!
My Sybaris so noble is
That, by the gods, I love him madly!
That I might save him from the grave,
I’d give my life, and give it gladly!
What if ma belle from favor fell,
And I made up my mind to shake her;
Would Lydia then come back again,
And to her quondam love betake her?
My other beau should surely go,
And you alone should find me gracious;
For no one slings such odes and things
As does the lauriger Horatius!
While favored by thy smiles no other youth in amorous
Around thy snowy neck his folding arms was wont to fling;
As long as I remained your love, acceptable and pleasing,
I lived a life of happiness beyond the Persian king.
While Lydia ranked Chloe in your unreserved opinion,
And for no other cherished thou a brighter, livelier flame,
I, Lydia, distinguished throughout the whole dominion,
Surpassed the Roman Ilia in eminence of fame.
’T is now the Thracian Chloe whose accomplishments
So sweet in modulations, such a mistress of the lyre.
In truth the fates, however terrible, could not appall me;
If they would spare her, sweet my soul, I gladly would expire.
And now the son of Ornytus, young Calais, inflames
With mutual, restless passion and an all-consuming fire;
And if the fates, however dread, would spare the youth who claims me,
Not only once would I face death, but gladly twice expire.
What if our early love returns to prove we were mistaken
And bind with brazen yoke the twain, to part, ah! nevermore?
What if the charming Chloe of the golden locks be shaken
And slighted Lydia again glide through the open door?