Lord Byron

Epigrams

Asclepius lays his hands on the silence around the body then listens for the sound he knows so well, of immortality. Actual life or death is not his business. Endymion sleeps forever, postponing immortality which is an intensity of wakefulness. Bacchus has mixed water from the river Lethe with these crushed grapes: each small lapse rehearses the longer forgetting. Yesterday, you were Silenus; last night, Priapus… O Apollo, do you not know how beautiful you are? Dionysus, play your part in what I seek: ecstasy without indulgence, a shriven joy I want to be happy, but not fat. Tantalus is the pleasure principle defeating itself; Sisyphus, the futile triumph of the work ethic. Help us to find the music, Orpheus, not to enchant into movement trees and rocks and plants, but to leave them be.

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