9 Poems of Sappho

Be here, by me
But you, O Dika, wreathe lovely garlands in your hair,
Come to me here from Crete
Girls, you be ardent for the fragrant-blossomed
Glittering-Minded deathless Aphrodite
He's equal with the Gods, that man
Hesperus, you bring back again
I have a daughter, golden
Some say horsemen, some say warriors
........
Be here, by me
  _
Be here, by me,
Lady Hera, I pray
Who answered the Atreides,   _
Glorious kings.
They gained great things
There, and at sea,   _
And came towards Lesbos,
Their home path barred
Till they called to you, to Zeus   _
Of suppliants, to Dionysus, Thyone's
Lovely child: be kind now,
Help me, as you helped them...
........
But you, O Dika, wreathe lovely garlands in your hair,
  _
But you, O Dika, wreathe lovely garlands in your hair,
Weave shoots of dill together, with slender hands,
For the Graces prefer those who are wearing flowers,   _
And turn away from those who go uncrowned.
........
Come to me here from Crete
  _
Come to me here from Crete,
To this holy temple, where
Your lovely apple grove stands,   _
And your altars that flicker
With incense.
And below the apple branches, cold   _
Clear water sounds, everything shadowed
By roses, and sleep that falls from
Bright shaking leaves.   _
And a pasture for horses blossoms
With the flowers of spring, and breezes
Are flowing here like honey:   _
Come to me here,
Here, Cyprian, delicately taking
Nectar in golden cups   _
Mixed with a festive joy,
And pour.
........
Girls, you be ardent for the fragrant-blossomed
  _
Girls, you be ardent for the fragrant-blossomed
Muses' lovely gifts, for the clear melodious lyre:
But now old age has seized my tender body,   _
Now my hair is white, and no longer dark.

My heart's heavy, my legs won't support me,   _
That once were fleet as fawns, in the dance.
I grieve often for my state; what can I do?
Being human, there's no way not to grow old.   _
Rosy-armed Dawn, they say, love-smitten,
Once carried Tithonus off to the world's end:
Handsome and young he was then, yet at last   _
Grey age caught that spouse of an immortal wife.
........
Glittering-Minded deathless Aphrodite
  _
Glittering-Minded deathless Aphrodite,
I beg you, Zeus's daughter, weaver of snares,
Don't shatter my heart with fierce   _
Pain, goddess,
But come now, if ever before
You heard my voice, far off, and listened,   _
And left your father's golden house,
And came,
Yoking your chariot. Lovely the swift   _
Sparrows that brought you over black earth
A whirring of wings through mid-air
Down the sky.   _
They came. And you, sacred one,
Smiling with deathless face, asking
What now, while I suffer: why now   _
I cry out to you, again:
What now I desire above all in my
Mad heart. ‘Whom now, shall I persuade   _
To admit you again to her love,
Sappho, who wrongs you now?
If she runs now she'll follow later,   _
If she refuses gifts she'll give them.
If she loves not, now, she'll soon
Love against her will.   _
Come to me now, then, free me
From aching care, and win me
All my heart longs to win. You,   _
Be my friend.
........
He's equal with the Gods, that man
  _
He's equal with the Gods, that man
Who sits across from you,
Face to face, close enough, to sip   _
Your voice's sweetness,
And what excites my mind,
Your laughter, glittering. So,   _
When I see you, for a moment,
My voice goes,
My tongue freezes. Fire,   _
Delicate fire, in the flesh.
Blind, stunned, the sound
Of thunder, in my ears.   _
Shivering with sweat, cold
Tremors over the skin,
I turn the colour of dead grass,   _
And I'm an inch from dying.
........
Hesperus, you bring back again
  _
Hesperus, you bring back again
What the dawn light scatters,
Bringing the sheep: bringing the kid:   _
Bringing the little child back to its mother.

........
I have a daughter, golden
  _
I have a daughter, golden,
Beautiful, like a flower -
Kleis, my love -   _
And I would not exchange her for
All the riches of Lydia......
........
Some say horsemen, some say warriors
  _
Some say horsemen, some say warriors,
Some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest
Vision in this dark world, but I say it's   _
What you love.
It's easy to make this clear to everyone,
Since Helen, she who outshone   _
All others in beauty, left
A fine husband,
And headed for Troy   _
Without a thought for
Her daughter, her dear parents...
Led astray....   _
And I recall Anaktoria, whose sweet step
Or that flicker of light on her face,
I'd rather see than Lydian chariots   _
Or the armed ranks of the hoplites.