And Licymnius the Chian, saying that Somnus was in love with Endymion, represents him as refusing to close the eyes of the youth even when he is asleep; but the God sends his beloved object to sleep with his eyelids still open, [p. 903] so that he may not for a single moment be deprived of the pleasure of contemplating them. And his words are these—
But Somnus much delightedAnd Sappho says to a man who was admired above all measure for his beauty, and who was accounted very handsome indeed—
In the bright beams which shot from his eyes,
And lull'd the youth to sleep with unclosed lids.
Stand opposite, my love,And what says Anacreon?—
And open upon me
The beauteous grace which from your eyes doth flow.
And the magnificent Pindar says—
Oh, boy, as maiden fair,
I fix my heart on you;
But you despise my prayer,
And little care that you do hold the reins
Which my soul's course incessantly do guide.Ode 67.
The man who gazes on the brilliant raysBut the Cyclops of Philoxenus of Cythera, in love with Galatea, and praising her beauty, and prophesying, as it were, his own blindness, praises every part of her rather than mention her eyes, which he does not; speaking thus:—
Which shoot from th' eyes
Of beautiful Theoxenus, and yet can feel his heart
Unmoved within his breast, nor yields to love,
Must have a heart
Black, and composed of adamant or iron.
O Galatea,But this is but a blind panegyric, and not at all to be compared with the encomium of Ibycus:—
Nymph with the beauteous face and golden hair,
Whose voice the Graces tune,
True flower of love, my beauteous Galatea.
Beauteous Euryalus, of all the GracesAnd Phrynichus said of Troilus—
The choicest branch,—object of love to all
The fair hair'd maidens,—sure the soft-eyed goddess,
The Cyprian queen, and soft Persuasion
Combin'd to nourish you on beds of roses.
The light of love shines in his purple cheeks.[p. 904]