SMACK!


ENKOMION: FOR THEOXENOS OF TENEDOS
Holly Nesbeitt

True, my heart, one ought to cull love
in one's prime, the appropriate time for it.
But Theoxenos' brightness, sparkling from his eyes--
any man who has seen this
and not been pinned under waves of longing
has a black heart of iron or adamant hammered
in chilly flame (an insult from swift-glancing
Aphrodite!); or he pants relentlessly
after money; or, heart like a girl's,
he's pulled the whole cold way
to the altar, the slave. But I,
by the sharp-eyed goddess' blessing,
melt like sacred bees' wax, sun-bitten,
whenever I gaze at the new-limbed youth
of boys. And even in Tenedos, charm and grace
have taken up residence in Hagesilas' son, Theoxenos.

written by Pindar, 5th century
B.C.E.

 


 

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