Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

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


A beautiful child is mine,
Formed like a golden flower,
Cleis the loved one. 
And above her I value
Not all the Lydian land, 5
Nor lovely Hellas.


Ah, but now henceforth
Only one meaning
Has life for me.

Only one purport,
Measure and beauty, 5
Has the bright world.

What mean the wood-winds,
Colour and morning,
Bird, stream, and hill?

And the brave city 10
With its enchantment? 
Thee, only thee!


Softly the wind moves through the radiant morning,
And the warm sunlight sinks into the valley,
Filling the green earth with a quiet joyance,
  Strength, and fulfilment.

Even so, gentle, strong and wise and happy, 5
Through the soul and substance of my being,
Comes the breath of thy great love to me-ward,
  O thou dear mortal.


What the west wind whispers
At the end of summer,
When the barley harvest
Ripens to the sickle,
  Who can tell? 5

What means the fine music
Of the dry cicada,
Through the long noon hours
Of the autumn stillness,
  Who can say? 10

How the grape ungathered
With its bloom of blueness
Greatens on the trellis
Of the brick-walled garden,
  Who can know? 15

Yet I, too, am greatened,
Keep the note of gladness,
Travel by the wind’s road,
Through this autumn leisure,—­
  By thy love. 20


Indoors the fire is kindled;
Beechwood is piled on the hearthstone;
Cold are the chattering oak-leaves;
And the ponds frost-bitten.

Softer than rainfall at twilight, 5
Bringing the fields benediction
And the hills quiet and greyness,
Are my long thoughts of thee.

How should thy friend fear the seasons? 
They only perish of winter 10
Whom Love, audacious and tender,
Never hath visited.


You ask how love can keep the mortal soul
Strong to the pitch of joy throughout the years.

Ask how your brave cicada on the bough
Keeps the long sweet insistence of his cry;

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