<SPAN name="link2H_4_0006" id="link2H_4_0006">
<!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN>
<div style="height: 4em;">
<br /><br /><br /><br />
We are so pious, we lovers. Discreetly we worship all powers,
Hoping for favor from each god and each goddess as well.
We are like you, ye victorious Romans, in this: for we offer
Gods of all peoples and tribes, over the whole world, a home—
May the Egyptian, black and austere out of primeval basalt,
Or from the marble a Greek, form them charming and white—
Yet the eternal ones do not object to particularism
(Incense of most precious sort, strewn for just one of their host).
Therefore we gladly confess to singling a special immortal
And our devotions each day pledging but solely to her.
Mischievous celebrants we at these mysteries gay, and so solemn:
Silence exactly befits rites at which we're adepts.
Rather onto our heels by horrible deeds the Erinyes
We would allure, even Zeus' punishment sooner we'd dare—
Under that rock, or bound to a tumbling wheel we'd endure it—
Than we'd withdraw our hearts from the delights of her cult.
Sweet Opportunity, that is her name. You should meet her.
Often will she turn up, ever in a new form.
Daughter of Proteus might well she be whom he sired upon Thetis.
In metamorphoses they've many a hero deceived.
So now the daughter beguiles the naive and bedazzles the foolish,
Teases you while you're asleep; when you awaken, she's flown.
Eagerly yields herself up to the quick, to the active man only.
He discovers she's tame, playful and tender and sweet.
Once she appeared to me, too: a dark-skinned girl, tumbling
Over her forehead the hair down in waves heavy and dark.
Round about a delicate neck curled short little ringlets;
Up from the crown of her head crinkled the unbraided hair.
When she dashed by me I seized her, mistaking her not. Lovingly
Kiss and embrace she returned, knowing and teaching me how.
O how enraptured I was! Ah, say now no more. It's a bygone.
But, O pigtails of Rome, still I'm entrammled in you.