Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics eBook

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

Let the long rhythm 15
Of crunching rollers,
Breaking and bellowing
On the white seaboard,
Titan and tireless,
Tell, while the world stands, 20
How I adore thee.

Love, let the clear call
Of the tree-cricket,
Frailest of creatures,
Green as the young grass, 25
Mark with his trilling
Resonant bell-note,
How I adore thee.

Let the glad lark-song
Over the meadow, 30
That melting lyric
Of molten silver,
Be for a signal
To listening mortals,
How I adore thee. 35

But more than all sounds,
Surer, serener,
Fuller with passion
And exultation,
Let the hushed whisper 40
In thine own heart say,
How I adore thee.


Heart of mine, if all the altars
Of the ages stood before me,
Not one pure enough nor sacred
Could I find to lay this white, white
  Rose of love upon. 5

I who am not great enough to
Love thee with this mortal body
So impassionate with ardour,
But oh, not too small to worship
  While the sun shall shine,—­ 10

I would build a fragrant temple
To thee, in the dark green forest,
Of red cedar and fine sandal,
And there love thee with sweet service
  All my whole life long. 15

I would freshen it with flowers,
And the piney hill-wind through it
Should be sweetened with soft fervours
Of small prayers in gentle language
  Thou wouldst smile to hear. 20

And a tinkling Eastern wind-bell,
With its fluttering inscription,
From the rafters with bronze music
Should retard the quiet fleeting
  Of uncounted hours. 25

And my hero, while so human,
Should be even as the gods are,
In that shrine of utter gladness,
With the tranquil stars above it
  And the sea below. 30


Never yet, love, in earth’s lifetime,
Hath any cunningest minstrel
Told the one seventh of wisdom,
Ravishment, ecstasy, transport,
Hid in the hue of the hyacinth’s 5
  Purple in springtime.

Not in the lyre of Orpheus,
Not in the songs of Musaeus,
Lurked the unfathomed bewitchment
Wrought by the wind in the grasses, 10
Held by the rote of the sea-surf,
  In early summer.

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