Egumnou

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Ἔκειτο δ’ ἡ μὲν λευκὸν εἰς σεληνόφως
φαίνουσα μαστὸν λελυμένης ἐπωμίδος,
τῆς δ’ αὖ χορεία λαγόνα τὴν ἀριστερὰν
ἔλυσε· γυμνὴ δ’ αἰθέρος θεάμασιν
ζῶσαν γραφὴν ἔφαινε, χρῶμα δ’ ὄμμασιν
λευκὸν μελαίνης ἔργον ἀντηύγει σκιᾶς.
ἄλλη δ’ ἐγύμνου καλλίχειρας ὠλένας,
ἄλλης προσαμπέχουσα θῆλυν αὐχένα.
ἡ δὲ ῥαγέντων χλανιδίων ὑπὸ πτυχαῖς
ἔφαινε μηρὸν, κἀξεπεσφραγίζετο
ὥρας γελώσης χωρὶς ἐλπίδων ἔρως.
ὑπνωμέναι δ’ ἔπιπτον ἑλενίων ἔπι,
ἴων τε μελανόφυλλα συγκλῶσαι πτερὰ
κρόκον θ’, ὃς ἡλιῶδες εἰς ὑφάσματα
πέπλων σκιᾶς εἴδωλον ἐξωμόργνυτο,
ἕρσῃ δὲ θαλερὸς ἐκτραφεὶς ἀμάρακος
λειμῶσι μαλακοὺς ἐξέτεινεν αὐχένας.
(Chaeremon, TrGF 71 F 14)

One of them was lying there, putting her pale breast
on display in the moonlight, since her dress had slipped down,
while the dancing had exposed the left hip
of another. Exposed to open view,
it made a living image visible, and its white tint
balanced the effect of the shadowy darkness on my eyes.
A third exposed her forearms and lovely hands,
wrapping them around the female neck of another girl.
This one allowed a glimpse of her thigh beneath the folds
of her shredded robes, and hopeless longing
for her radiant beauty impressed itself upon me.
They sprawled out asleep on calamint,
and had woven black-flowered violet-petals together
with crocus, which wiped a shade
that resembled sunlight onto their woven robes.
And dew-swollen marjoram that had grown
in the marshes extended its tender stalks.
(tr. S. Douglas Olson)

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