Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

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

“To-day be wise and great,
And put off hesitation and go forth 5
With cheerful courage for the diurnal need.

“Stout be the heart, nor slow
The foot to follow the impetuous will,
Nor the hand slack upon the loom of deeds.

“Then may the Fates look up 10
And smile a little in their tolerant way,
Being full of infinite regard for men.”


The sun on the tide, the peach on the bough,
The blue smoke over the hill,
And the shadows trailing the valley-side,
Make up the autumn day.

Ah, no, not half!  Thou art not here 5
Under the bronze beech-leaves,
And thy lover’s soul like a lonely child
Roams through an empty room.


If death be good,
Why do the gods not die? 
If life be ill,
Why do the gods still live?

If love be naught, 5
Why do the gods still love? 
If love be all,
What should men do but love?


Tell me what this life means,
O my prince and lover,
With the autumn sunlight
On thy bronze-gold head?

With thy clear voice sounding 5
Through the silver twilight,—­
What is the lost secret
Of the tacit earth?


Ye have heard how Marsyas,
In the folly of his pride,
Boasted of a matchless skill,—­
When the great god’s back was turned;

How his fond imagining 5
Fell to ashes cold and grey,
When the flawless player came
In serenity and light.

So it was with those I loved
In the years ere I loved thee. 10
Many a saying sounds like truth,
Until Truth itself is heard.

Many a beauty only lives
Until Beauty passes by,
And the mortal is forgot 15
In the shadow of the god.


Hour by hour I sit,
Watching the silent door. 
Shadows go by on the wall,
And steps in the street.

Expectation and doubt 5
Flutter my timorous heart. 
So many hurrying home—­
And thou still away.


Once in the shining street,
In the heart of a seaboard town,
As I waited, behold, there came
The woman I loved.

As when, in the early spring, 5
A daffodil blooms in the grass,
Golden and gracious and glad,
The solitude smiled.

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