Antinous and Silvanus
Patiently scouting the forest
two gods oversee its green growth
and maintain its leafed boundary
as a refuge from men’s hunting,
the wild woods a verdant border
with each, like temple column, tree.
These gods foster each standing tree
in vast temenos of forest,
a holy precinct its border
where nymphs supervise arbors’ growth,
mystery labyrinth for hunting
for young god and god of boundary.
Diana’s grove is a boundary
with a golden bough on one tree,
token of success in hunting
for new king of sacred forest,
and in the year’s increasing growth
wilderness maintains its border.
Silvanus’ love has a border:
Cyparissus broke the boundary
and not just branches then had growth
nor was surging sap just in tree–
such love takes refuge in forest
and is the aim of all hunting.
Antinous still loves hunting:
the Bithynian boy’s border
was a pristine pine wood forest
where once, over Roman boundary
he loved Hadrian under tree
and divinity began growth.
Without a shade of bearded growth
Antinous now goes hunting
for the hunters’ god amidst tree
and the bushy hedges’ border:
the wood’s life knows no boundary
for jealousy in god’s forest.
Fertility’s growth has no border
just for hunting, nor a boundary
between nymphs’ trees–love’s a forest.