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p. 171


Child, do not go on without having loved me. I still am fair, beneath the cloak of night; you shall see how much warmer my autumn is than any other's spring. . . .

Do not seek the love of virgins. Love is a difficult art in which young girls are not highly versed. I have spent my life in learning it, to give it to my last lover.

You, I know, will be my last lover. Here is my mouth, for which a nation has grown ashen with desire. Here is my hair that the great Psappha sang in measured verse.

I shall gather together for you all that is left of my lost youth. I'll even burn my memories themselves. I'll give you Lykas' flute . . . Mnasidika's girdle.

Next: The Dove