POEMS BY ARISTAENETUS
- S yesterday
I went to dine
- With Pamphilus, a swain of mine,
- I took my sister, little heeding
- The net I for myself was spreading;
- Though many circumstances led
- To prove she'd mischief in her head.
- For first her dress in every part
- Was studied with the nicest art:
- Deck'd out with necklaces and rings,
- And twenty other foolish things;
- And she had curl'd and bound her hair
- With more than ordinary care:
- And then, to show her youth the more,
- A light, transparent robe she wore--
- From head to heel she seem'd t' admire
- In raptures all her fine attire:
- And often turn'd aside to view
- If others gazed with raptures too.--
- At dinner, grown more bold and free,
- She parted Pamphilus and me;
- For veering round unheard, unseen,
- She slyly drew her chair between.
- Then with alluring, am'rous smiles,
- And nods, and other wanton wiles,
- And unsuspecting youth ensnared,
- And rivall'd me in his regard.--
- Next she affectedly would sip
- The liquor that had touch'd his lip.
- He, whose whole thoughts to love incline.
- And heated with th' enliv'ning wine,
- With interest repaid her glances,
- And answered all her kind advances.
- Thus sip they from the goblet's brink
- Each other's kisses while they drink;
- Which with the sparkling wine combined,
- Quick passage to the heart did find.
- Then Pamphilus an apple broke,
- And at her bosom aim'd the stroke;
- While she the fragment kiss'd and press'd,
- And hid it wanton in her breast.
- But I, be sure, was in amaze,
- To see my sister's artful ways;
- "These are returns," I said, "quite fit
- To me, who nursed you when a chit.
- For shame, lay by this envious art;--
- In this to act a sister's part?"
- But vain were words, entreaties vain,
- The crafty witch secured my swain.--
- By heavens, my sister does me wrong
- But oh! she shall not triumph long;
- Well Venus knows I'm not in fault--
- 'Twas she who gave the first assault;
- And since our peace her treachery broke,
- Let me return her stroke for stroke.
- She'll quickly feel, and to her cost,
- Not all their fire my eyes have lost--
- And soon with grief shall she resign
- Six of her swains for one of mine.
- TRANSLATED BY RICHARD BRINSLEY
SHERIDAN (1751-1816) AND MR. HALHED