Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

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

Gentlier now falls the twilight,
With the slim moon in the pear-trees;
And the green frogs in the meadows
Blow on shrill pipes to awaken
  Thee, Lityerses. 15

Gladlier now crimson morning
Flushes fair-built Mitylene,—­
Portico, temple, and column,—­
Where the young garlanded women
Praise thee with singing. 20

Ah, but what burden of sorrow
Tinges their slow stately chorus,
Though spring revisits the glad earth? 
Wilt thou not wake to their summons,
  O Lityerses? 25

Shall they then never behold thee,—­
Nevermore see thee returning
Down the blue cleft of the mountains,
Nor in the purple of evening
  Welcome thy coming? 30

Nevermore answer thy glowing
Youth with their ardour, nor cherish
With lovely longing thy spirit,
Nor with soft laughter beguile thee,
  O Lityerses? 35

Heedless, assuaged, art thou sleeping
Where the spring sun cannot find thee,
Nor the wind waken, nor woodlands
Bloom for thy innocent rapture
Through golden hours? 40

Hast thou no passion nor pity
For thy deserted companions? 
Never again will thy beauty
Quell their desire nor rekindle,
  O Lityerses? 45

Nay, but in vain their clear voices
Call thee.  Thy sensitive beauty
Is become part of the fleeting
Loveliness, merged in the pathos
  Of all things mortal. 50

In the faint fragrance of flowers,
On the sweet draft of the sea-wind,
Linger strange hints now that loosen
Tears for thy gay gentle spirit,
  O Lityerses! 55


Now the hundred songs are made,
And the pause comes.  Loving Heart,
There must be an end to summer,
And the flute be laid aside.

On a day the frost will come, 5
Walking through the autumn world,
Hushing all the brave endeavour
Of the crickets in the grass.

On a day (Oh, far from now!)
Earth will hear this voice no more; 10
For it shall be with thy lover
As with Linus long ago.

All the happy songs he wrought
From remembrance soon must fade,
As the wash of silver moonlight 15
From a purple-dark ravine.

Frail as dew upon the grass
Or the spindrift of the sea,
Out of nothing they were fashioned
And to nothing must return. 20

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