Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics

by Bliss Carman


 

XII


 

IN a dream I spoke with the Cyprus-born,
And said to her,
"Mother of beauty, mother of joy,
Why hast thou given to men

"This thing called love, like the ache of a wound 

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    In beauty’s side,
To burn and throb and be quelled for an hour
And never wholly depart?"

And the daughter of Cyprus said to me,
    "Child of the earth,

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Behold, all things are born and attain,
But only as they desire,—

"The sun that is strong, the gods that are wise,
    The loving heart,
Deeds and knowledge and beauty and joy,—

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But before all else was desire."