Faithless! You may hide the guilty blush of your cheeks
Behind snowy powder, painting your face with roses.
But neither cleverness of toilette, nor carefully laid veil,
Nor the pleading contortions of your lovely visage
Can blind my eyes to the truth gleaming back from yours!
Ah, but alas, you know me well, my coy, ungracious mistress.
How crimson shame becomes you! now in disgrace as it did in modesty
That moment I beheld your nymph-like form laid bare,
Rivaling the Moon herself for beauty, your charms unfurling o'er the velvet sheets
Like rare jewels, glittering in the brilliance of the night.
How it drives me mad! I pray those feverish spots
Will stain your cheeks irreparably!
That they will burn, cracking the porcelain of your skin with fire
At another lover's kiss (but most especially at mine!);
That the tender brush of sunlight will rub your flesh raw and stinging with venom
When glorious Dawn peers through your window!
And above all may the Moon, your witness in betrayal and mine in grief,
Scorch you, relentless, beneath her piercing opal gaze;
May her soft fingers, which once guided lovers' caresses,
Turn to talons against your skin, raking darkness across your features!
Trapped thus between night and day, may thoughts of us guzzle, merciless rats,
At your heart, estranging you from repose!
Ay! Thus, dear lady, I depart in mourning.
Shut the gate in my wake, and for God's sake change the locks!
I shan't come here again.
Your lively countenance turns to marble before my eyes,
As does my heart, sinking leaden cold with anguish
At your disfavor, and the burden of curses I cannot bear to utter.
Inspired by Ovid's "Amores" and written in couplets, though not the elegiac ones of Classical verse.