Beautiful boy, flower fair,
Glittering jewel, if only you knew
That the loveliness of your face
Was the torch of my love.
The moment I saw you
Cupid struck me; but I hesitate,
For my Dido holds me,
And I fear her wrath.
Oh, how happy would I be
If for a new favorite
I could abandon this love
In the ordinary way.
I will win, as I believe,
For I will yield to you in the hunt:
I am the hunter, you are the hunter,
And I yield to any hunter like you.
Even the ruler of heaven,
Once the ravisher of boys,
If he were here now would carry off
Such beauty to his heavenly bower.
Then, in the chambers of heaven,
You would be equally ready for any task:
Sometimes in bed, other times as cupbearer—
And Zeus’ delight in both.
—To an English Boy, Hilary the Englishman, 12th century. Originally in Latin.