My hearts races
When I think of you, love.
It throws ‘normal’ out the window
and leaps out of its place.
It won’t let me get dressed,
or put on a scarf,
I can’t do my eye-shadow,
or even rub on my oils.
“Go there now!” it insists
whenever he comes to mind.
Don’t be an idiot, heart,
are you out of your mind?
Be patient, be still, the brother will come.
There are eyes everywhere, you know!
I don’t want people saying,
“Love did this woman in.”
Keep calm when thinking of him.
Heart, stop racing

—–               —–

My heart flutters hastily,
When I think of my love of you;
It lets me not act sensibly,
It leaps from its place.
It lets me not put on a dress,
Nor wrap my scarf around me;
I put no paint upon my eyes,
I’m even not anointed.
“Don’t wait, go there,” says it to me,
As often as I think of him;
My heart, don’t act so stupidly,
Why do you play the fool?
Sit still, the brother comes to you,
And many eyes as well.
Let not the people say of me:
“A woman fallen through love!”
Be steady when you think of him,
My heart, do not flutter!

Ancient Egyptian Poem

Fourth Stanza, from Papyrus Chester Beatty I



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