Jacques-Louis David, Sapho, Phaon et l'Amour, 1809
Jacques-Louis David, Sapho, Phaon et l’Amour (1809)

Tu mihi cura, Phaon; te somnia nostra reducunt—
somnia formoso candidiora die.
illic te invenio, quamvis regionibus absis;
sed non longa satis gaudia somnus habet.
saepe tuos nostra cervice onerare lacertos,
saepe tuae videor supposuisse meos;
oscula cognosco, quae tu committere lingua
aptaque consueras accipere, apta dare.
blandior interdum verisque simillima verba
eloquor et vigilant sensibus ora meis.
ulteriora pudet narrare, sed omnia fiunt,
et iuvat, et siccae non licet esse mihi.
(Ovid, Her. 15.123-134)

You, Phaon, are my care; you, my dreams bring back to me—dreams brighter than the beauteous day. In them I find you, though in space you are far away; but not long enough are the joys that slumber gives. Often I seem with the burden of my neck to press your arms, often to place beneath your neck my arms. I recognise the kisses – close caresses of the tongue – which you were wont to take and wont to give. At times I talk sweet nothings, and utter words that seem almost the waking truth, and my lips keep vigil for my senses. Further I blush to tell, but all takes place; I feel the delight, and it is impossible for me to stay dry. (tr. Grant Showerman, revised by G.P. Goold and again by Thea S. Thorsen)

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