As an eagle Zeus came to godlike Ganymede, and as a swan to the blond mother of Helen*. So there is no comparison between the two passions**: some prefer one of the two and others the other. I like both.
* I.e., Leda.
** I.e., for boys or for women.
(tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller; with their notes)
If you would recall, o man,
just how your father sowed you,
you’d bridle your vain pride.
Yet the dreamer Plato’s deception
has taken root in you,
calling you immortal,
a heavenly plant.
“You come from dirt;
how are you proud?”
So one might ask,
arranging the figure more pompously.
But if you seek the truth,
you were begotten
of unbridled lust
and an unclean drop. (tr. Daniel Dockery)
The secretly creeping flames, on a winter night, when all were heavy with wine, consumed the great house of Antagoras. Free men and slaves together, eighty in all, perished on this fatal pyre. Their kinsmen could not separate their bones, but one common urn, one common funeral was theirs, and one tomb was erected over them. Yet readily can Hades distinguish each of them in the ashes. (tr. William Roger Paton)
Young men do not have as much suffering as is inflicted upon us tender-hearted women. They have friends of their own age to whom they can confidently tell their cares and sorrows, the games they pursue can cheer them, and they stroll the streets and let their eyes wander from one colorful picture to another. We on the contrary are not even allowed to look on the light, but are kept hidden in dark chambers, the prey of our thoughts. (tr. William Roger Paton, revised by Michael A. Tueller)
It’s a long night, and there’s a storm, and it sets towards the Pleiad (?),
and I’m walking by the outer doors getting drenched with rain,
wounded by desire for that deceptive girl. For Cypris sent
not love but a painful bolt made of fire. (tr. Alexander Sens)