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Helen Darbishire and Ernest De Selincourt (eds), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 1: Poems Written in Youth; Poems Referring to the Period of Childhood (Second Edition)

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(Catullus, XLV)


  • 1Septimius thus his [    ] love addressed,
  • 2His darling Acme in his arms sustained,
  • 3"My Acme, may I perish if my breast
  • 4Burns not for thee with love to madness strained,
  • 5And more—if I am not prepared to give
  • 6To thee such earnest love unchanged by time
  • 7As any human heart can feel and live,
  • 8Then may I roam through Lybia's burning clime
  • 9And meet alone the ravenous lion's roar."
  • 10He spoke and at the word the God of love,
  • 11The God of love, as from the right before,
  • 12Sneezed from the left, and did the vow approve.
  • 13But Acme, lightly turning back her head,
  • 14Kissed with that rosy mouth th' inebriate eyes
  • 15Of the sweet youth, and kissed again and said:
  • 16"My life, and what far more than life I prize,
  • 17So may we to the end of time obey
  • 18Love our sole master, as my bosom owns
  • 19A flame that with far more resistless sway
  • 20Thrills through the very marrow of my bones."
  • 21She spoke and Love, as from the right before,
  • 22Sneezed from the left hand and the vow approved.
  • 23Needing no other omen to implore,
  • 24With mutual soul they love and are beloved;
  • 25His Acme only does Septimius prize
  • 26All Syria and all Britain's wealth above;
  • 27And Acme for Septimius only sighs,
  • 28And finds in him alone her sole delight and love.
  • 29Whoe'er a more auspicious passion saw,
  • 30Or any mortals under happier law?

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