Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

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

As once aforetime
Well thou didst hearken
To my voice far off,—­
Listen, and leaving 10
Thy father’s golden
House in yoked chariot,

Come, thy fleet sparrows
Beating the mid-air
Over the dark earth. 15
Suddenly near me,
Smiling, immortal,
Thy bright regard asked

What had befallen,—­
Why I had called thee,—­ 20
What my mad heart then
Most was desiring. 
“What fair thing wouldst thou
Lure now to love thee?

“Who wrongs thee, Sappho? 25
If now she flies thee,
Soon shall she follow;—­
Scorning thy gifts now,
Soon be the giver;—­
And a loth loved one 30

“Soon be the lover.” 
So even now, too,
Come and release me
From mordant love pain,
And all my heart’s will 35
Help me accomplish!


Peer of the gods he seems,
Who in thy presence
Sits and hears close to him
Thy silver speech-tones
And lovely laughter. 5

Ah, but the heart flutters
Under my bosom,
When I behold thee
Even a moment;
Utterance leaves me; 10

My tongue is useless;
A subtle fire
Runs through my body;
My eyes are sightless,
And my ears ringing; 15

I flush with fever,
And a strong trembling
Lays hold upon me;
Paler than grass am I,
Half dead for madness. 20

Yet must I, greatly
Daring, adore thee,
As the adventurous
Sailor makes seaward
For the lost sky-line 25

And undiscovered
Fabulous islands,
Drawn by the lure of
Beauty and summer
And the sea’s secret. 30


The Cyprian came to thy cradle,
When thou wast little and small,
And said to the nurse who rocked thee
“Fear not thou for the child: 

“She shall be kindly favoured, 5
And fair and fashioned well,
As befits the Lesbian maidens
And those who are fated to love.”

Hermes came to thy cradle,
Resourceful, sagacious, serene, 10
And said, “The girl must have knowledge,
To lend her freedom and poise.

Naught will avail her beauty,
If she have not wit beside. 
She shall be Hermes’ daughter, 15
Passing wise in her day.”

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