The honorable senator of Rome
Petronius, a handsome man of wealth
for whom the poets held respectful gnome,
that contemplated 'bout the State's good health
like God was worshiped by the sightly maid
- Eunike; whose devotion was unpaid.
Unanswered her obedience and love,
uncherished and ignored transformed to pain;
tormented her young senses, made her rove,
- alone confessed, her flesh needs to abstain
- his handsome thus admired and marble bust,
apprised her instincts, highborn and robust.
Evincible, unrequited pleas,
the maid exalted to the sovereign sire,
his despotism she served sole to reprise,
thus punished by the whip for her desire,
accepts the lashes whispering his name
with deponent her dedicated flame.
The punisher was ordered to beware,
not to cause scathes upon her perfect skin;
her sire's ingratitude could not forswear
love's burning tears she shed, for was a sin
to disobey her master's potent will
- infusing lashes deftly to instill.
Alone Eunike stares at his stone bust;
his handsomeness could cause a Sol's eclipse;
oh, may the Fates milleflorus entrust
their gifts upon his brow and much loved lips;
her arms embracing him, the maid's face couth,
shall osculate the marble bust's cold mouth.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Inspired by a fragment expressed in the book
'Quo Vadis' by Henryk Sienkiewicz, a Polish author.
(You may read the 'about the poem' submitted text)
milleflorus = with thousand flowers
Gaius Petronius (historical person) , titled the 'arbiter of elegance, ' former governor of Bithynia. Petronius is a member of Nero's court who uses his wit to flatter and mock him at the same time. He is loved by the Roman mob for his liberal attitudes. Somewhat amoral and a bit lazy, he tries to help his nephew, but his cunning plan is thwarted by Ligia's Christian friends.
Eunice (Eunike) (fictitious) , household slave of Petronius. Eunice is a beautiful young Greek woman who has fallen in love with her master, although he is initially unaware of her devotion.
Comments about this poem (Eunike by Giorgio Venetopoulos )
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