Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 39 pages of information about Sappho.


O but my delicate lover,
Is she not fair as the moonlight? 
Is she not supple and strong
  For hurried passion?

Has not the god of the green world, 5
In his large tolerant wisdom,
Filled with the ardours of earth
  Her twenty summers?

Well did he make her for loving;
Well did he mould her for beauty; 10
Gave her the wish that is brave
  With understanding.

“O Pan, avert from this maiden
Sorrow, misfortune, bereavement,
Harm, and unhappy regret,” 15
  Prays one fond mortal.


Softer than the hill-fog to the forest
Are the loving hands of my dear lover,
When she sleeps beside me in the starlight
And her beauty drenches me with rest.

As the quiet mist enfolds the beech-trees, 5
Even as she dreams her arms enfold me,
Half awaking with a hundred kisses
On the scarlet lily of her mouth.


I seek and desire,
Even as the wind
That travels the plain
And stirs in the bloom
Of the apple-tree. 5

I wander through life,
With the searching mind
That is never at rest,
Till I reach the shade
Of my lover’s door. 10


Like torn sea-kelp in the drift
Of the great tides of the sea,
Carried past the harbour-mouth
To the deep beyond return,

I am buoyed and borne away 5
On the loveliness of earth,
Little caring, save for thee,
Past the portals of the night.


Fine woven purple linen
I bring thee from Phocaea,
That, beauty upon beauty,
A precious gift may cover
The lap where I have lain. 5

And a gold comb, and girdle,
And trinkets of white silver,
And gems are in my sea-chest,
Lest poor and empty-handed
Thy lover should return. 10

And I have brought from Tyre
A Pan-flute stained vermilion,
Wherein the gods have hidden
Love and desire and longing,
Which I shall loose for thee. 15


When I am home from travel,
My eager foot will stay not
Until I reach the threshold
Where I went forth from thee.

And there, as darkness gathers 5
In the rose-scented garden,
The god who prospers music
Shall give me skill to play.

Project Gutenberg
Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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