Sappho

Sappho
fl. c. 620 B.C.

Greek Lyric Poet

Author Quotes

You burn me.

You came and I was crazy for you and you cooled my mind that burned with longing.

You came and I was longing for you. You cooled a heart that burned with desire.

You for the fragrant-blossomed Muses? lovely gifts [be zealous,] girls, [and the] clear melodious lyre: [but my once tender] body old age now [has seized;] my hair?s turned [white] instead of dark; my heart?s grown heavy, my knees will not support me, that once on a time were fleet for the dance as fawns. This state I oft bemoan; but what?s to do? Not to grow old, being human, there?s no way. Tithonus once, the tale was, rose-armed Dawn, love-smitten, carried off to the world?s end, handsome and young then, yet in time grey age o?ertook him, husband of immortal wife.

You like a goddess and in your song most of all she rejoiced. But now she is conspicuous among Lydian women as sometimes at sunset the rosy-fingered moon surpasses all the stars. And her light stretches over salt sea equally and flower-deep fields. And the beautiful dew is poured out and roses bloom and frail chervil and flowering sweet clover. But she goes back and forth remembering gentle Atthis and in longing she bites her tender mind.

You may blame Aphrodite soft as she is she has almost killed me with love for that boy.

Would Jove appoint some flower to reign, in matchless beauty on the plain, the Rose (mankind will all agree). The Rose the queen of flowers should be.

Yes, Atthis, you may be sure even in Sardis Anactoria will think often of us of the life we shared here, when you seemed the Goddess incarnate to her and your singing pleased her best. Now among Lydian women she in her turn stands first as the red-fingered moon rising at sunset takes precedence over stars around her; her light spreads equally on the salt sea and fields thick with bloom. Delicious dew pours down to freshen roses, delicate thyme and blossoming sweet clover; she wanders aimlessly, thinking of gentle Atthis, her heart hanging heavy with longing in her little breast. She shouts aloud, Come! we know it; thousand-eared night repeats that cry across the sea shining between us.

Yoking your chariot of gold. Then beautiful swift sparrows led you over the black earth from the sky through the middle air, whirling their wings into a blur.

You are beautiful, you exhilarating girl.

What frenzy in my bosom raged, and by what cure to be assuaged? What gentle youth I would allure, whom in my artful toils secure? Who does thy tender heart subdue, tell me, my Sappho, tell me who? Though now he shuns thy longing arms, he soon shall court thy slighted charms; though now thy offerings he despise, he soon to thee shall sacrifice; though now he freezes, he soon shall burn,and be thy victim in his turn.

What is beautiful is good and who is good will soon also be beautiful.

When anger spreads through the breath, guard thy tongue from barking idly.

When they were tired night rained her thick dark sleep upon their eyes.

When wrath runs rampage in your heart you must hold still that rambunctious tongue!

Where will you go when you?ve left me?? ?I?ll never come back to you , bride, I?ll never come back to you.?

With his venom irresistible and bittersweet that loosener of limbs, Love reptile-like strikes me down.

Without warning as a whirlwind swoops on an oak Love shakes my heart.

There is no place for grief in a house which serves the Muse.

They say that Leda once found an egg? like a hyacinth. ?Virginity, virginity.?

Throned in splendor, immortal Aphrodite! Child of Zeus, Enchantress, I implore thee slay me not in this distress and anguish, lady of beauty. Hither come as once before thou camest, when from afar thou heard'st my voice lamenting, heard'st and camest, leaving thy glorious father's Palace golden, yoking thy chariot. Fair the doves that bore thee; swift to the darksome earth their course directing, waving their thick wings from the highest heaven down through the ether. Quickly they came. Then thou, O blessed goddess, all in smiling wreathed thy face immortal, bade me tell thee the cause of all my suffering, why now I called thee; what for my maddened heart I most was longing. Whom," thou criest, "dost wish that sweet Persuasion now win over and lead to thy love, my Sappho? Who is it wrongs thee? For, though now he flies, he soon shall follow, soon shall be giving gifts who now rejects them. Even though now he love not, soon shall he love thee even though thou wouldst not. Come then now, dear goddess, and release me from my anguish. All my heart's desiring grant thou now. Now too again as aforetime, be thou my ally.

To have beauty is to have only that, but to have goodness is to be beautiful too.

To what shall I compare you, dear bridegroom? To a slender shoot, I most liken you.

We shall enjoy it as for him who finds fault, may silliness and sorrow take him!

Wealth without virtue is dangerous; but both alignment on the highest happiness.

Author Picture
First Name
Sappho
Birth Date
fl. c. 620 B.C.
Bio

Greek Lyric Poet