New poems and variant readings/De Erotio Puella
DE EROTIO PUELLA
This girl was sweeter than the song of swans,
And daintier than the lamb upon the lawns
Or Curine oyster. She, the flower of girls,
Outshone the light of Erythræan pearls;
The teeth of India that with polish glow,
The untouched lilies or the morning snow.
Her tresses did gold-dust outshine
And fair hair of women of the Rhine.
Compared to her the peacock seemed not fair,
The squirrel lively, or the phœnix rare;
Her on whose pyre the smoke still hovering waits;
Her whom the greedy and unequal fates
On the sixth dawning of her natal day,
My child-love and my playmate—snatcht away.