Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

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

Great Pan came to thy cradle,
With calm of the deepest hills,
And smiled, “They have forgotten
The veriest power of life. 20

“To kindle her shapely beauty,
And illumine her mind withal,
I give to the little person
The glowing and craving soul.”


Aphrodite of the foam,
Who hast given all good gifts,
And made Sappho at thy will
Love so greatly and so much,

Ah, how comes it my frail heart 5
Is so fond of all things fair,
I can never choose between
Gorgo and Andromeda?


Nay, but always and forever
Like the bending yellow grain,
Or quick water in a channel,
Is the heart of man.

Comes the unseen breath in power 5
Like a great wind from the sea,
And we bow before his coming,
Though we know not why.


Let there be garlands, Dica,
Around thy lovely hair. 
And supple sprays of blossom
Twined by thy soft hands.

Whoso is crowned with flowers 5
Has favour with the gods,
Who have no kindly eyes
For the ungarlanded.


When the Cretan maidens
Dancing up the full moon
Round some fair new altar,
Trample the soft blossoms of fine grass,

There is mirth among them. 5
Aphrodite’s children
Ask her benediction
On their bridals in the summer night.


In a dream I spoke with the Cyprus-born,
  And said to her,
“Mother of beauty, mother of joy,
Why hast thou given to men

“This thing called love, like the ache of a wound 5
  In beauty’s, side,
To burn and throb and be quelled for an hour
And never wholly depart?”

And the daughter of Cyprus said to me,
  “Child of the earth, 10
Behold, all things are born and attain,
But only as they desire,—–­

“The sun that is strong, the gods that are wise,
  The loving heart,
Deeds and knowledge and beauty and joy,—­ 15
But before all else was desire.”


Sleep thou in the bosom
Of the tender comrade,
While the living water
Whispers in the well-run,
And the oleanders 5
Glimmer in the moonlight.

Soon, ah, soon the shy birds
Will be at their fluting,
And the morning planet
Rise above the garden; 10
For there is a measure
Set to all things mortal.

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