Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics

by Bliss Carman


 

VII


 

THE Cyprian came to thy cradle,
When thou wast little and small,
And said to the nurse who rocked thee
"Fear not thou for the child:"

She shall be kindly favoured, 

5

And fair and fashioned well,
As befits the Lesbian maidens
And those who are fated to love."

Hermes came to thy cradle,
Resourceful, sagacious, serene,

10

And said, "The girl must have knowledge,
To lend her freedom and poise.

"Naught will avail her beauty,
If she have not wit beside.
She shall be Hermes’ daughter,

15

Passing wise in her day."

Great Pan came to thy cradle,
With calm of the deepest hills,
And smiled, "They have forgotten
The veriest power of life.

20

"To kindle her shapely beauty,
And illumine her mind withal,
I give to the little person
The glowing and craving soul."