HYMN TO APHRODITE
- HRONED 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
- 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
- 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.
POEMS BY SAPPHO
This English translation, by William
Hyde Appleton, of 'Hymn to Aphrodite' is reprinted from Greek
Poets in English Verse. Ed. William Hyde Appleton. Cambridge:
The Riverside Press, 1893.