Sappho. Words

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Although they are

only breath, words

which I command

are immortal


Sounds Of Grief


Must I remind you, Cleis,

that sounds of grief

are unbecoming in

a poet's household?


and that they are not

suitable in ours?


With his venom


With his venom


and bittersweet


that loosener

of limbs, Love



strikes me down


Blame Aphrodite


It's no use

Mother dear, I

can't finish my


You may

blame Aphrodite


soft as she is


she has almost

killed me with

love for that boy


And their feet move


And their feet move

rhythmically, as tender

feet of Cretan girls

danced once around an


altar of love, crushing

a circle in the soft

smooth flowering grass


The Dust Of Timas


This dust was Timas; and they say

That almost on her wedding day

She found her bridal home to be

The dark house of Persephone.


And many maidens, knowing then

That she would not come back again,

Unbound their curls; and all in tears,

They cut them off with sharpened shears.


Wedding Song


Workmen lift high

The beams of the roof,



Like Ares from sky

Comes the groom to the bride,



Than men who must die

Stands he taller in pride,



Yea, Thou Shalt Die


Yea, thou shalt die,

And lie

Dumb in the silent tomb;

Nor to thy name

Shall there be any fame

In ages yet to be or years to come:

For of the flowering Rose,

Which on Pieria blows,

Thou hast no share:

But in sad Hades' house,

Unknown, inglorious,

'Mid the dim shades that wander there

Shalt thou flit forth and haunt the filmy air.


To A Girl In A Garden


O soft and dainty maiden, from afar

I watch you, as amidst the flowers you move,

And pluck them, singing.


More golden than all gold your tresses are:

Never was harp-note like your voice, my love,

Your voice sweet-ringing.




With flowers fair adorn thy lustrous hair,

Dica, amidst thy locks sweet blossoms twine,

With thy soft hands, for so a maiden stands

Accepted of the gods, whose eyes divine

Are turned away from her-though fair as May

She waits, but round whose locks no flowers shine.


Orchard Song


Cool murmur of water through apple-wood

Troughs without number

The whole orchard fills, whilst the leaves

Lend their music to slumber.


Mother, I Cannot Mind My Wheel


Mother, I cannot mind my wheel;

My fingers ache, my lips are dry;

Oh! if you felt the pain I feel!

But oh, who ever felt as I!


My Garden


I've a garden, a garden of dreams,

Where the cool breeze whispering sways

Softly the apple-sprays,


And from leaves that shimmer and quiver

Down on mine eyelids streams

A slumber-river


Like The Sweet Apple


Like the sweet apple that reddens

At end of the bough——

Far end of the bough——

Left by the gatherer's swaying,

Forgotten, so thou.

Nay, not forgotten, ungotten,

Ungathered (till now).


Thy Form Is Lovely


Thy form is lovely and thine eyes are honeyed,

O'er thy face the pale

Clear light of love lies like a veil.

Bidding thee rise,

With outstretched hands,

Before thee Aphrodite stands.


Standing by my bed


Standing by my bed

in gold sandals

Dawn that very

moment awoke me


Tell everyone


Tell everyone

now, today, I shall

sing beautifully for

my friends' pleasure


The Muses


It is the Muses

who have caused me

to be honred: they

taught me their craft


We Know This Much


We know this much

Death is an evil;

we have the gods'

word for it; they too

would die if death

were a good thing


I Took My Lyre


I took my lyre and said:

Come now, my heavenly

tortoise shell: become

a speaking instrument


Cyprian, in my dream


Cyprian, in my dream

the folds of a purple

kerchief shadowed

your cheeks——the one


Timas one time sent,

a timid gift, all

the way from Phocaea


Without Warning


Without warning

as a whirl wind

swoops on an oak

Love shakes my heart

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