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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.


Alpheus and Arethusa

By Moschus (fl. c. 150 B.C.)

Translated by Robert Bland

FROM where his silver waters glide,

Majestic, to the ocean-tide

Through fair Olympia’s plain,

Still his dark course Alpheus keeps

Beneath the mantle of the deeps,

Nor mixes with the main.

To grace his distant bride, he pours

The sand of Pisa’s sacred shores,

And flowers that decked her grove;

And, rising from the unconscious brine,

On Arethusa’s breast divine

Receives the meed of love.

’T is thus with soft bewitching skill

The childish god deludes our will,

And triumphs o’er our pride;

The mighty river owns his force,

Bends to the sway his winding course,

And dives beneath the tide.