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p. 179


On the dark shores of the Melas, at Tamassos in Pamphylia, I, Bilitis, daughter of Damophylos, first saw the light. I rest far away from my birth-place, you see.

As a child I was taught the loves of Adon and Astarte, the mysteries of holy Syria, and death and the return to She-of-the-full-rounded-eyelids.

If I have been a courtesan, wherein lies the blame? Was this not my work as a woman? Stranger, the Mother-of-Everything guides us. She cannot be wisely ignored.

In gratitude to you who have paused here, I wish you this fate: May you be loved, but not love. Farewell, and in your old age remember that once you gazed on my tomb.

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