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Chapter 1

CLA219H1 Chapter 1: Grenfell fragment


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA219H1
Professor
Regina Hoschele
Chapter
1

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The so-called Grenfell Fragment
The choice was made by us both, we bound ourselves together. And Kypris is love’s
security. It’s torture to recall how he kissed me, when he meant to desert me, that
inventor of double-dealing, begetter of my love. Desire gripped me, I don’t deny it, it’s
on my mind. O beloved stars and lady Night, companions in my desire, take me to him
even now, I’m ready. Kypris and mighty Eros are driving me there in their grip. My
guide is the potent torch that’s ablaze in my soul. But this is what hurts me, this is what
aches: that this cheater of hearts, so proud before, denied my love had sprung from
Kypris, and now can’t bear a chance offense. I’m going to go mad; I’m so jealous, so
burnt up at being deserted. I ask only this: throw me the garlands, which, in my
loneliness, I’ll press to my skin. Master, don’t lock me out and send me off. Take me. I’m
content, I’m eager, to be your slave. Loving to distraction is a heavy task: you have to be
jealous, conceal, persist. And if you love just one, you just get crazy, a love for one
makes you go mad. You should know I have a stubborn temper when I get in a fight. I go
mad if I have to sleep alone, remembering. But you run off to press your flesh to
another’s. Look if we’re angry at each other, we’ll have to make up right now. Isn’t this
why we have friends, to tell us who’s in the wrong? Text breaks off here…
(transl. Peter Bing and Rip Cohen)
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