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Sappho, fragments 68-81 (Bergk), from Wharton's Sappho. including fragments on death without the Muses, a wise woman, garlands, and more, with translations by several hands, and contexts by Wharton.

Fr. 68

But thou shalt ever lie dead, nor shall there be any remembrance of thee then or thereafter, for thou hast not of the roses of Pieria; but thou shalt wander obscure even in the house of Hades, flitting among the shadowy dead.
H. T. Wharton
In the cold grave where thou shalt lie
All memory too of thee shall die,
Who in this life's auspicious hours
Disdained Pieria's genial flowers;
And in the mansions of the dead,
With the vile crowd of ghosts, thy shade,
While nobler spirits point with scorn,
Shall flit neglected and forlorn.
Unknown, unheeded, shalt thou die,
        And no memorial shall proclaim
That once beneath the upper sky
        Thou hadst a being and a name.

For never to the Muses' bowers
        Didst thou with glowing heart repair,
Nor ever intertwine the flowers
        That fancy strews unnumbered there.

Doom'd o'er that dreary realm, alone,
        Shunn'd by the gentler shades, to go,
Nor friend shall soothe, nor parent own
        The child of sloth, the Muses' foe.
Rev. R. Bland, 1813
Thee too the years shall cover; thou shalt be
As the rose born of one same blood with thee,
As a song sung, as a word said, and fall
Flower-wise, and be not any more at all,
Nor any memory of thee anywhere;
For never Muse has bound above thine hair
The high Pierian flowers whose graft outgrows
All Summer kinship of the mortal rose
And colour of deciduous days, nor shed
Reflex and flush of heaven about thine head, etc.
Swinburne, Anactoria.
Woman dead, lie there;
No record of thee
Shall there ever be,
Since thou dost not share
Roses in Pieria grown.
In the deathful cave,
With the feeble troop
Of the folk that droop,
Lurk and flit and crave,
Woman severed and far-flown.
William Cory, 1858
Thou liest dead, and there will be no memory left behind
Of thee or thine in all the earth, for never didst thou bind
The roses of Pierian streams upon thy brow; thy doom
Is writ to flit with unknown ghosts in cold and nameless gloom.
Edwin Arnold, 1869
Yea, thou shalt die,
And lie
        Dumb in the silent tomb;
Nor of thy name
Shall there be any fame
        In ages yet to be or years to come:
For of the flowering Rose,
Which on Pieria blows,
        Thou hast no share:
But in sad Hades' house,
Unknown, inglorious,
        'Mid the dim shades that wander there
        Shalt thou flit forth and haunt the filmy air.
J. A. Symonds, 1883.
When thou fallest in death, dead shalt thou lie,
        nor shall thy memory
Henceforth ever again be heard then or in days
        to be,
Since no flowers upon earth ever were thine,
        plucked from Pieria's spring,
Unknown also 'mid hell's shadowy throng thou
        shalt go wandering.
Love in Idleness, 1883.

From Stobaeus, about 500 A.D., as addressed to an uneducated woman. Plutarch quotes the fragment as written to a certain rich lady; but in another work he says the crown of roses was assigned to the Muses, for he remembered Sappho's having said to some unpolished and uneducated woman these same words. Aristides, about 150 A.D., speaks of Sappho's boastfully saying to some well-to-do woman, 'that the Muses made her blest and worthy of honour, and that she should not die and be forgotten'; though this may refer to fr. 10.


Fr. 69

No one maiden I think shall at any time see the sunlight that shall be as wise as thou.
H. T. Wharton
Methinks no maiden ever
        Will live beneath the sun
Who is as wise as thou art,--
        Not e'en till Time is done.

Quoted by Chrysippus. It is probably out of the same ode as the preceding.


Fr. 70

What country girl bewitches thy heart, who knows not how to draw her dress about her ankles?
H. T. Wharton
What country maiden charms thee,
        However fair her face,
Who knows not how to gather
        Her dress with artless grace?

Athenaeus, speaking of the care which the ancients bestowed upon dress, says Sappho thus jests upon Andromeda. Three other authors quote the same lines.


Fr. 71

I taught Hero of Gyara, the swift runner.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Choeroboscus, to show the Aeolic accusative.


Fr. 72

I am not of a malignant nature, but have a quiet temper.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted in the Etymologicum Magnum to show the meaning of abakês, 'childlike, innocent.'


Fr. 73

But charming [maidens] plaited garlands.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by the Scholiast on Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae 401, to show that plaiting wreaths was a sign of being in love.


Fr. 74

Thou and my servant Love.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Maximus Tyrius to show that Sappho agreed with Diotima when the latter said to Socrates (Plato, Sympos., p. 328) that Love is not the son, but the attendant and servant, of Aphrodite. Cf. fr. 132.


Fr. 75

But if thou lovest us, choose another and a younger bed-fellow; for I will not brook to live with thee, old woman with young man.
H. T. Wharton

From Stobaeus' Anthology, and Apostolius.


Fr. 76

Mnasidica is more shapely than the tender Gyrinno.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Hephaestion as an example of metre (cf. p. 24).


Fr. 77

Scornfuller than thee, Eranna, have I nowhere found.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Hephaestion with the foregoing. The MSS. do not agree; perhaps hô 'ranna is an adjective, for hô erateinê, O lovely--.


Fr. 78

Do thou, Dica, set garlands round thy lovely hair, twining shoots of dill together with soft hands: for those who have fair flowers may best stand first, even in the favour of Goddesses; who turn their face away from those who lack garlands.
H. T. Wharton
Here, fairest Rhodope, recline,
And 'mid thy bright locks intertwine,
With fingers soft as softest down,
The ever verdant parsley crown.
The Gods are pleased with flowers that bloom
And leaves that shed divine perfume,
But, if ungarlanded, despise
The richest offered sacrifice.
J. H. Merivale
But place those garlands on thy lovely hair,
Twining the tender sprouts of anise green
With skilful hand; for offerings and flowers
Are pleasing to the Gods, who hate all those
Who come before them with uncrowned heads.
C. D. Yonge
Of foliage and flowers love-laden
Twine wreaths for thy flowing hair,
With thine own soft fingers, maiden.
Weave garlands of parsley fair;

For flowers are sweet, and the Graces
On suppliants wreathed with may
Look down from their heavenly places,
But turn from the crownless away.
J. A. Symonds, 1883

Mr. J. A. Symonds has also thus expanded the lines into a sonnet (1883):--

Bring summer flowers, bring pansy, violet,
Moss-rose and sweet-briar and blue columbine;
Bring loveliest leaves, rathe privet, eglantine,
Brown myrtles with the dews of morning wet:
Twine thou a wreath upon thy brows to set;
With thy soft hands the wayward tendrils twine;
Then place them, maiden, on those curls of thine,
Those curls too fair for gems or coronet.

Sweet is the breath of blossoms, and the Graces,
When suppliants through Love's temple wend their way,
Look down with smiles from their celestial places
On maidens wreathed with chaplets of the may;
But from the crownless choir they hide their faces,
Nor heed them when they sing nor when they pray.

Athenaeus, quoting this fragment, says:--

'Sappho gives a more simple reason for our wearing garlands, speaking as follows . . . in which lines she enjoins all who offer sacrifice to wear garlands on their heads, as they are beautiful things and acceptable to the Gods.'


Fr. 79

I love delicacy, and for me Love has the sun's splendour and beauty.
H. T. Wharton

In speaking of perfumes, Athenaeus, quoting Clearchus, says:--'Sappho, being a thorough woman and a poetess besides, was ashamed to separate honour from elegance, and speaks thus . . . making it evident to everybody that the desire of life that she confessed had brilliancy and honour in it; and these things especially belong to virtue.'


Fr. 80

And down I set the cushion.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Herodian, along with fr. 50.


Fr. 81

Wealth without thee, Worth, is no safe neighbour [but the mixture of both is the height of happiness].
H. T. Wharton
Wealth without virtue is a dangerous guest;
Who holds them mingled is supremely blest.
J. H. Merivale

From the Scholiast on Pindar. The second line appears to be the gloss of the commentator, though Blass believes it is Sappho's.

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