An Early Visit

It was dawn, and I decided to visit and see if she slept
alone: Cynthia lay alone in her bed.
I stood amazed: she never had seemed more lovely to me,
not even when, dressed in a gown of deep sea-blue,
she went from here to tell her dreams to Vesta the Pure,
fearing they boded harm for her or for me.
Just so she seemed to me now, freshly aroused from sleep.
Ah! What intrinsic power has dazzling beauty!
'Well! ' she said, 'you are a bright and early spy on your girl!
Did you think that my behavior would be like yours?
I am not so loose; one lover's acquaintance will satisfy me:
you, or perhaps some other one, truer than you.
You will find no trace of another's form pressed into the bed,
no indication that two have lain wallowing here.
See, no breath is rising up from all over my body
as a tell-tale sign of adulterous goings-on.'
She spoke, and holding me off with her right hand spurned my caresses,
and leaping up sprang from the chamber on soft-slippered feet.
Thus I, the guard of so sacred a love, am proved a fool.
Since then I have not had one happy night.

by Propertius

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