Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics

by Bliss Carman




NEVER yet, love, in earth’s lifetime,
Hath any cunningest minstrel
Told the one seventh of wisdom,
Ravishment, ecstasy, transport,
Hid in the hue of the hyacinth’s

    Purple in springtime.

Not in the lyre of Orpheus,
Not in the songs of Musæus,
Lurked the unfathomed bewitchment
Wrought by the wind in the grasses,


Held by the rote of the sea-surf,
    In early summer.

Only to exquisite lovers,
Fashioned for beauty’s fulfilment,
Mated as rhythm to reed-stop

Whence the wild music is moulded,
Ever appears the full measure
    Of the world’s wonder.