Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

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


Lover, art thou of a surety
Not a learner of the wood-god? 
Has the madness of his music
  Never touched thee?

Ah, thou dear and godlike mortal, 5
If Pan takes thee for his pupil,
Make me but another Syrinx
  For that piping.


With your head thrown backward
In my arm’s safe hollow,
And your face all rosy
With the mounting fervour;

While the grave eyes greaten 5
With the wise new wonder,
Swimming in a love-mist
Like the haze of Autumn;

From that throat, the throbbing
Nightingale’s for pleading, 10
Wayward, soft, and welling
Inarticulate love-notes,

Come the words that bubble
Up through broken laughter,
Sweeter than spring-water, 15
“Gods, I am so happy!”


Ah, what am I but a torrent,
Headstrong, impetuous, broken,
Like the spent clamour of waters
  In the blue canyon?

Ah, what art thou but a fern-frond, 5
Wet with blown spray from the river,
Diffident, lovely, sequestered,
  Frail on the rock-ledge?

Yet, are we not for one brief day,
While the sun sleeps on the mountain, 10
Wild-hearted lover and loved one,
  Safe in Pan’s keeping?


Love shakes my soul, like a mountain wind
  Falling upon the trees,
When they are swayed and whitened and bowed
  As the great gusts will.

I know why Daphne sped through the grove 5
  When the bright god came by,
And shut herself in the laurel’s heart
  For her silent doom.

Love fills my heart, like my lover’s breath
  Filling the hollow flute, 10
Till the magic wood awakes and cries
  With remembrance and joy.

Ah, timid Syrinx, do I not know
  Thy tremor of sweet fear? 
For a beautiful and imperious player 15
  Is the lord of life.


Love, let the wind cry
On the dark mountain,
Bending the ash-trees
And the tall hemlocks,
With the great voice of 5
Thunderous legions,
How I adore thee.

Let the hoarse torrent
In the blue canyon,
Murmuring mightily 10
Out of the grey mist
Of primal chaos,
Cease not proclaiming
How I adore thee.

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