The Rhapsody of the Red Rose
Then, ascending from the ocean,
Aphrodite raised her beauty
o'er the waves into the spirit
and from there into the veins;
the deer, the hunt, the off'ring was forgotten,
and with a sigh Adonis dropped his spear.
Black as raving flocks of ravens
flew her hair across the aether,
white as swans, dancing on rivers,
rose her body from the sea,
and pink as wild flamingoes' moistened plumage
invitingly her lips were opened wide.
Red as blood her mouth smiled fire,
blue as lakes her eyes smiled passion,
mighty and erect stood Eos
on Olympus and his twin;
between the lofty pillars of her temple
he saw the salty water dripping down.
Falling on his knees, Adonis
felt his love for her was rising -
such a perfect face and body
no one's ever seen before;
bewitched he entered Aphrodite's temple
to sacrifice to her in Ares' place.
After he had brought his off'ring,
Aphrodite's temple servant
rubbed her tiny breasts against his
restless chest and held him tight,
and soon they both were lying on the altar,
enjoying every inch of lovers' skin.
'Strength is what you need, endurance
and the mildness of a lion,
will you satisfy the Goddess,'
said the servant, out of breath;
'tonight she will await you on Mount Ida,
if you fulfil her task before the night!
'Love the seven girls of Hellas
that outshine all other beauties -
then she'll give herself, though Ares
will not let you get away;
you'll die when loving her, but in the flower
of lovers you will live for evermore!'
Smilingly she gave a ribbon
to Adonis, made of satin,
twisted it around his flowing
hair and whispered with a kiss,
'Your powers always will be concentrated
in any limb this band is tied around.' -
Still the morning sun shone brightly
o'er the blooming Grecian pastures;
Psyche waited on the mountain
for her lover, for the night -
she never saw the form, the smile of Eros,
but always longed for his exciting touch.
Bluest eyes gazed at the distance,
and her yearning face was framed by
golden curls that loosely covered
shape and fullness of her breasts;
her crimson lips were twitching with emotion,
as she anticipated night and love.
Then Adonis came and kissed her,
and he pressed her to his pelvis,
'I have never seen your beauty,
and you never looked at mine;
I couldn't wait to see you any longer,
I had to set my eyes on whom I love!'
Psyche squeezed him even tighter,
and her trembling lips discovered
every secret of her lover,
every pore and every vein;
entwined they sank into the grass, and Helos
observed the deeds Selene saw before.
Drowned in sweat they held each other,
shaking with each other's heartbeat;
finally their bodies parted,
and Adonis said farewell.
So Psyche kissed him once again, 'Be careful
that Eros doesn't see you when you leave.' -
Daphne gently stroked her lover's
fair blonde hair and kissed her forehead,
kissed her cheek, her neck and shoulders,
kissed her pale and shiv'ring breasts;
she sighed with passion, and she said to Daphne,
'What do you want? What do you want right now?'
Daphne touched her hip most softly,
softly in her ear she whispered,
'I would love to have a satyr
as a viewer and a pet!
I'd chain him to a tree: he'd have to watch us
and witness pleasures he shall never know!'
Stepping forward from the bushes
came Adonis, and he told her,
'I shall go and catch a satyr,
if you'll give me a reward.'
'I offer you my labial diamond chatelaine,
I even offer you my lover's love!'
'Keep your jewellery, dark siren,
keep the love of your sweet lover;
I'll take nothing else buy only,
gracile maid, your own sweet love!' -
'I promise anything you want, provided
you bring him here before the sun declines.'
Soon he found the nymphs and satyrs
gaily dancing in the forest;
in the middle sat Silenus,
watching them and drinking wine.
The ribbon tied around his wrist, Adonis
approached the satyrs, and he said to one,
'Daphne seeks the perfect lover
for tonight: he must be handsome,
very strong and as enduring
as the girls she had before.' -
'My dreams come true! She'll never touch a woman
again when I have taught her how to love!'
'But the mistress wants you helpless,
as she likes to be in power;
therefore I will have to bind you -
this is part of Daphne's game!'
The satyr put his arms behind his kid-back
and let Adonis tie him with a rope.
When the satyr was delivered
and Adonis claimed his payment,
Daphne laughed, 'You know exactly
that I'll never love a man!'
Adonis freed the palpitating satyr,
and with the rope he tied her to the ground. –
In the Calydonian valley,
copper-haired, with eyes of hazel,
stood the huntress Atalanta,
tallest of the Amazons,
with slender legs as white and long as birches,
the slimmest waistline and the broadest hips.
Resting on her spear she waited
for the stranger who approached her,
every muscle in her body
was prepared to start the race,
'You come to challenge me? I was ne'er beaten -
the prize is high: my hymen or your life!'
Soon Adonis reached the meadow
with the ribbon round his ankle,
and he told the handsome virgin
he was ready for the race.
'I'll meet you at the brook,' said Atalanta,
'and either winner there shall claim her prize!'
At the brook Adonis waited,
gaping at her lean appearance
and her wide and graceful paces,
as he picked a little bunch;
her breasts stood firmly like the apples of the
Hesperides and glistened in the sun.
With a winning smile Adonis
gave the flowers to the huntress,
but she said, 'A girl should never
take a flower from a man;
you court, and with your flowers you deflower,
you run, and with your strength you weaken us!'
Atalanta took the flowers,
threw them on the ground and grabbed him,
pressed his head against her bosom
and his breast against her lap,
'You challenged and defeated me - now have me,
and pray you'll love as grandly as you run!' -
Agamemnon's land lay peaceful,
and the lake was calm and quiet;
in its waters bathed Rhodopsis,
his Egyptian courtesan,
when suddenly an eagle took her sandal
and spread his mighty wings and flew away.
Blackest blackness was her colour:
she had eyes as black as midnight,
she had hair as black as ravens,
skin as black as ebony,
and smooth and shiny was her hairless body
and wet as she ascended from the lake.
Then Adonis came and saw her
sitting at the beach in anger,
and the girl's amazing blackness
was contrasted only by
the whiteness of her teeth, around her iris,
her purple peaks, the pinkness of her lips.
'Anger does not go with beauty,'
said Adonis as he timely
found the willowy enchantress,
'tell me, what is wrong with you?' -
'An eagle took my sandal, and the pebbles
will cut my feet when I am going home.'
'I will carry you,' he answered,
and he lifted her with caution,
and he felt her glowing body,
felt her soft skin on his arms;
her luring smell confused his tangled senses,
her tempting sight consumed his dazzled mind.
With her slender arms around his
neck he walked across the pebbles -
as he reached the end, he smoothly
sat her down upon the lawn;
she drew him down to her between the daisies
and wrapped her satin thighs around his waist. –
'Look, at last here comes Adonis,'
said Cassandra to her sister;
'we awaited you, relying
on your most distinguished taste.
We'll love you in Apollo's holy temple,
so he may see what he can never get.'
There Cassandra took her sister's
clothes off while she kissed her shoulder,
and Polyxena undressed her
sister while she kissed her hips;
she kissed her groin, and, turning to Adonis,
they took his clothes and kissed his cheek and chest.
Soon their searching hands and fingers
found the treasures of his body;
everywhere he saw their figures,
everywhere he felt their lips -
he only guessed the parts his hands were grabbing,
his mouth was tasting every kind of skin.
Quivering he sighed with pleasure,
as he watched the wild two maidens'
slender limbs across his body,
full brown hair around his hips,
their snake-like moves, their mounting and dismounting,
their joy in tasting every single pore.
And he saw a breast above his
face, another touched his thigh; he
kissed Polyxena's red summit,
lying in Cassandra's lap -
they pressed and rubbed their skin against Adonis',
their hungry bodies covered every limb.
He was trembling, and, delighted
with their skilful way of loving,
he lay back and held the sisters
and caressed their scarlet buds,
'I have to leave; your beauty raised my spirits,
but now I'll meet the daughter of the Swan.'
'No! Don't leave us,' begged Cassandra;
her green eyes grew large and watered,
and Polyxena embraced him
as he lingered at the door,
and, falling on her knees, she kissed Adonis -
her huge brown eyes were urging him to stay.
'You will die tonight, Adonis,
if you leave before the morning,'
said Cassandra, but he answered,
'This I know, and this I want!
Tonight I'll love the Lady of the Ladies,
and therefore I shall live for evermore!' -
Menelaus' gardens blossomed;
sleeping in the cooling shadow
of an olive tree lay Helen,
while Adonis stood and watched.
He saw her godlike face, her skin of hazel,
he saw her bosom heaving as she dreamed.
For eternities he stood there
and adored her peerless beauty,
her divine, her blooming figure,
and admired her warm brown eyes
as Helen woke, 'What are you searching, stranger?' -
'I'm looking for a beauty to match mine.'
'Here I am,' said Helen softly,
and she rose before Adonis,
just a veil between their bodies,
just a breath between their lips;
they felt the heat, they both began to tremble -
they couldn't move, they couldn't say a word.
Helen's hands reached for the collar:
with a jerk she tore her tunic,
and before the stunned Adonis
stood her breasts like Spartan shields -
he touched them gently and he held them firmly,
he squeezed them roughly, and he kissed their buds.
And she showed him through the garden,
and Adonis spread her orchid,
drank the dewdrops from its petals,
fed her crimson Venus trap;
between her palm trees he discovered heaven,
he split her peach and tasted every fruit.
After he had smelt each flower,
she was dozing off beside him,
while he rose to leave. Another
time he looked at her; she turned,
she winked and smiled and put her arms around him,
and once again they shared the bliss of love. -
Night was falling on Mount Ida;
Aphrodite stood and waited
for her lover. Then her sparrow
flew to her and said, 'He's here!
Adonis comes, who'll always be remembered
by every future lover in the world!'
And Adonis saw her standing,
saw the splendour of the Goddess
brightening the mountain's darkness,
and her beauty took his breath;
he shivered strongly with excitement, knowing
that every inch of her would be his realm.
Tight she pressed him to her body,
and he clasped her breasts of silver,
and he kissed her, and she kissed him,
and her mouth was full of love;
while tenderly they grazed on passion's pastures,
Selene spread her everluring rays.
Aphrodite's whiteness glistened
in the mellow light. Adonis
watched her skin, her graceful movements,
drowning in her deep blue eyes;
he seized the night and gladly drank her beauty
with mouth and eyes until the cup was drained.
Snow was falling on Mount Ida:
white drops softly kept on flowing
down her raven-hair, her crimson
lips and down her cherry buds;
he rested on the pillow of her bosom,
where he declared his never-ending love.
'Never will I love again like
this one night,' sighed Aphrodite.
Hidden in the royal oak wood,
Ares watched them from afar;
he changed his shape, and as a boar he darted
across and pierced Adonis with his tusk.
'Ton Adonin!' sang the flowers
and the trees of Priam's forest.
'Ton Adonin!' sang the maidens
and the grieving nymphs of Greece.
Selene veiled her face, and through the darkness
the plaintive song of Nature lingered on.
Aphrodite held Adonis
in her loving arms and kissed him,
and the tears that she was weeping
fell upon Adonis' wound;
his blood was flowing on the snow-white roses,
and red as blood they stayed until today.