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A collection of Sapphic fragments

I'm not the spiteful sort at all
but have the spirit of a little child.

And now
Love, the limb-loosener stirs me:
Irresistable, bitter-sweet imp.
But, Atthis, you've come to abhor me
(Even the hint of me)
And flit to Andromeda

She's fired your fancy?
That clod of a woman
who hasn't even the knack
of pulling her skirts up
over her ankles

Go then
You are nothing to me!

Who wants
That weaver of yarns
Who gives presents of pain?

Though they say
Love can make a poet our of a boor

It can open the eyes
With the larkspur's stunning clarity

Like Jason's mantle
Mixed and parti-coloured

But even then
I loved you, Atthis, long ago
my girlhood still in flowers... and you
A small ungainly girl, I thought

I saw Love
Come down from heaven
And fling off his purple cloak

But I won't be stung, so
Keep your honey bees
And your honey

Then Aphrodite said
All was not lost
When she forgot you
And fled to Andromeda.
O Sappho, of little faith!
I too have a right to scold you;
For you should have remembered
That wherever I was I loved you
And could have come from afar as before;
From Paphos, Panormus or Cyprus--
Where I am Queen and a mighty
Force for mankind, and for you:
A power like the blaze of the sun
Who lights up the world with his glory.
So remember that even in Acheron
I the love-enraveler
Can unravel the gloom....
Yes, I can be with you.

I am glad to say
Andromeda has been prettily paid back"

- Sappho, fragments 108-120 from "The Love Song of Sappho"; by trans. Paul Roche.

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