Ode to Aphrodite
Deathless Aphrodite throned in flowers,
Daughter of Zeus, O terrible enchantress,
With this sorrow, with this anguish, break my spirit,
Lady, no longer!
Hear anew the voice! O hear and listen!
Come as in that island dawn thou camest,
Billowing in thy yoked cart to Sappho
Forth from thy father’s
Golden house in pity!... I remember
Fleet and fair thy sparrows drew thee, beating
Fast their wings above the dusky harvests,
Down the pale heavens,
Lighting anon! And thou, O blest and brightest,
Smiling with immortal eyelids, asked me:
“Maiden, what betideth thee? Or wherefore
Callest upon me?
“What is here the longing more than other,
Here in this mad heart? And who the lovely
One beloved thou would not lure to loving?
Sappho, who wrongs thee?
How so unwilling..
Come again to me! O now! Release me!
End the great pang! And all my heart desireth
Now of fulfillment, fulfill! O Aphrodite,
Fight by my shoulder!