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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
To Aphrodite
By Sappho (fl. c. 610–580 B.C.)
 
Translation of Thomas Davidson

THOU of the throne of many changing hues,
  Immortal Venus, artful child of Jove,—
Forsake me not, O Queen, I pray! nor bruise
      My heart with pain of love.
 
But hither come, if e’er from other home        5
  Thine ear hath heard mine oft-repeated calls;
If thou hast yoked thy golden car and come,
      Leaving thy father’s halls;
 
If ever fair, fleet sparrows hastened forth,
  And swift on wheeling pinions bore thee nigher,        10
From heights of heaven above the darkened earth,
      Down through the middle fire.
 
Ay, swift they came; then, Blessed One, didst thou
  With countenance immortal smile on me,
And ask me what it was that ailed me now,        15
      And why I called on thee;
 
And what I most desired should come to pass,
  To still my soul inspired: “Whom dost thou long
To have Persuasion lead to thine embrace?
      Who, Sappho, does thee wrong?        20
 
“For if she flee, she quickly shall pursue;
  If gifts she take not, gifts she yet shall bring;
And if she love not, love shall thrill her through,
      Though strongly combating.”
 
Then come to me even now, and set me free        25
  From sore disquiet; and that for which I sigh
With fervent spirit, bring to pass for me:
      Thyself be mine ally!
 
 
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