Before the statue of Endymion
I have come from Miletos to Latmos
on a white chariot drawn by four snow-white mules,
all their trappings silver.
I sailed from Alexandria in a purple trireme
to perform sacred rites—
sacrifices and libations—in honor of Endymion.
And here is the statue. I now gaze in ecstasy
at Endymion’s famous beauty.
My slaves empty baskets of jasmine
and auspicious tributes revive the pleasure of ancient days.
Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard