Greek Poetry Fragments - By Sappho


Fragment 1

Deathless Aphrodite - Daughter of Zeus and maker of snares -

On your florid throne, hear me!

My lady, do not subdue my heart by anguish and pain

But come to me as when before

You heard my distant cry, and listened:

Leaving, with your golden chariot yoked, your father's house

To move beautiful sparrows swift with a whirling of wings

As from heaven you came to this dark earth through middle air

And so swiftly arrived.


Then you my goddess with your immortal lips smiling

Would ask what now afflicts me, why again

I am calling and what now I with my restive heart


    Whom now shall I beguile

    To bring you to her love?

    Who now injures you, Sappho?

    For if she flees, soon shall she chase

    And, rejecting gifts, soon shall she give.

    If she does not love you, she shall do so soon

    Whatsoever is her will.


Come to me now to end this consuming pain

Bringing what my heart desires to be brought:

Be yourself my ally in this fight.


-- Sappho's poem is a poem to Aphrodite, asking for her help. However, it does not mention what he wants her help for, that I can tell.


Fragment 2

Gather your [ lyre ] and sing for me

[ Soon ]

As desire once again [ enhances ] your beauty:


Your dress excites, and I rejoice

For I once doubted Aphrodite

But now have asked that soon

You will be with me again ....

-- Although I have a hard time understanding this one, it sounds to me like a love poem. However, it does mention Aphrodite.

Fragment 3

Age seizes my skin and turns my hair

From black to white:

My knees no longer bear me

And I am unable to dance again

Like a fawn.


What could I do? I am not ageless:

My youth is gone.

Red-robed Dawn, immortal goddess,

Carried [ Tithonus ] to earth's end

Yet age siezed him

Despite the gift from his immortal lover ....


I love delicate softness:

For me, love has brought the brightness

And the beauty of the sun ....

--This one doesn't have as much to do with religion as the others, but it does very briefly mention Dawn, a goddess.