Blessed are they who lie upon Aphrodite’s couch,
feeling love with moderation,
desire with self-control.
Eros shoots two arrows,
one delivers happiness when it strikes,
the other delivers bewilderment.
Oh Kypris, most lovely goddess,
keep confusion from my bridal bed.
May I feel passion, but not be ruled by it,
may Aphrodite visit but not stay too long.
Various are the ways of human nature,
but the tenets of human virtue are obvious to all,
especially to those who have been well schooled.
There is great wisdom in great modesty,
for it brings grace, good judgment,
and a reputation that is everlasting.
There is nothing nobler than seeking virtue:
for women it is love’s secret,
for men it is an asset that brings greatness to their city.
Paris, you were once a cowherd.
You stood among white heifers,
playing barbarous melodies upon your reed pipe,
trying to imitate the nearby Trojans.
There among your fat cattle, three goddesses found you,
and soon fate guided you inside Helen’s ivory palace.
Your gazes locked and filled with love,
and that ache of love you felt within your breasts,
that ache has armed these ships,
filling them with spears and soldiers who ache to war with Troy.