Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics

by Bliss Carman


 

V


 

O APHRODITE,
God-born and deathless,
Break not my spirit
With bitter anguish:
Thou wilful empress,
5

I pray thee, hither!

As once aforetime
Well thou didst hearken
To my voice far off,—
Listen, and leaving

10

Thy father’s golden
House in yoked chariot,

Come, thy fleet sparrows
Beating the mid-air
Over the dark earth.

15

Suddenly near me,
Smiling, immortal,
Thy bright regard asked

What had befallen,—
Why I had called thee,—

20

What my mad heart then
Most was desiring.
"What fair thing wouldst thou
Lure now to love thee?

"Who wrongs thee, Sappho?

25
If now she flies thee,
Soon shall she follow;—
Scorning thy gifts now,
Soon be the giver;—
And a loth loved one
30

"Soon be the lover."
So even now, too,
Come and release me
From mordant love pain,
And all my heart’s will
35
Help me accomplish!