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Sappho: To Aphrodite

Aphrodite, immortal, enthroned in wonder,
Sky-daughter, webstress of schemes, I entreat you
not to break my spirit with pangs of anguish,
Queen, Lady, Mother,

but now come to me, if in the past you ever
also heeded me when I cried from afar, and,
leaving behind the golden house of your father
Zeus, you descended

borne in a chariot yoked to a flock of lovely
sparrows flying fast over earth's black richness,
thickly fluttering wings leading you a passage
through bright mid-heaven,

soon arriving, and you, O supreme in blessing,
eternity's smile gleaming from your expression,
asked me now this time what again I suffered,
what did I pray for,

what beyond all else I would want to happen
with all my love-maddened heart: 'Who now needs persuasion
to be led back to your affection? Who is it,
Sappho, who hurts you?

Though she now may run, she will soon pursue you;
now she may spurn gifts, but she soon will give them;
now she feels no love, but she soon will feel it,
even unwilling.'

Come to me this time again: act as my deliveress
from this mastering pain, and, as the fulfiller
of everything that my passion hopes for, take your
stand as my ally.


- translated from the Greek by Jon Corelis

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