Translated from the Modern Greek by A.E. Stallings
With her hair closely cropped up to the nape
Like Dorian Apollo’s, the girl lay on the narrow
Pallet, keeping her limbs stiffly frozen
Within a heavy cloud she could not escape...

Artemis emptied her quiver—every arrow
Shot through her body. And though very soon
She’d be no virgin, like cold honeycomb,
Her virgin thighs still kept her pleasure sealed...

As if to the arena, the youth came
Oiled with myrrh, and like a wrestler kneeled
To pin her down; and although he broke past

Her arms that she had thrust against his chest,
Only much later, with one cry, face to face,
Did they join lips, and out of their sweat, embrace...

More Poems by Angelos Sikelianos