Written and performed by Emmie Lo (’22), Psyche’s Song was inspired by Psyche’s (“Soul’s”) speech to her parents in Apuleius’ The Golden Ass (4.34), read with Prof. Keyne Cheshire in an advanced Latin course on the novel.
In the novel, after an oracle has commanded that Psyche be married to a fearsome monster, she rebukes her parents for their hesitation and urges them to get on with the funereal wedding. Spoiler alert! The monster will prove to be Cupido (“Desire”). After all, what is a soul without desire?
Lyrics to “Psyche’s Song” by Emmie Lo
- Mother, don’t torture your
waning years with wasted tears.
Father, don’t tear your hair,
white from all your sighing.
Mother, don’t beat your breast,
sacred breast that gave me rest.
Father, don’t disfigure your
face with all your crying
- You should’ve mourned me long before,
when for my beauty to adore
strangers came from every land
and crowned me as their Venus.
Envy was our only prize,
burning in the goddess’ eyes.
Now in her name I go to die,
if only we had seen it.
- Mother, don’t weary your
precious breath that is my breath
Father, don’t waste it on
all this ceaseless wailing.
Mother, don’t tear your eyes;
hurting them, you’re hurting mine.
Father, come, lead me on
to my fatal wedding.
- Why delay a minute more
and shed more tears behind this door?
I’ve a lonely rock to climb
to meet my noble husband.
So, sing with me a wedding song
For I will be, before too long,
In the arms of one who’s born
To bring the world destruction
To bring the world destruction.
Eta Sigma Phi National Honor Society
Since 1929, Davidson College has hosted the Alpha Nu chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national honorary society for students of Latin and/or Greek. Any student who earns a B or higher in a Greek or Latin course is eligible for initiation.