Sappho, fragments 68-81 (Bergk) with Unicode Greek, 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.
Κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσεαι πότα, κωὐ μναμοσύνα σέθεν
ἔσσετ' οὔτε τότ' οὔτ' ὔστερον· οὐ γὰρ πεδέχεις βρόδων
τῶν ἐκ Πιερίας, ἀλλ' ἀφάνης κἠν Ἀΐδα δόμοις
φοιτάσεις πεδ' ἀμαύρων νεκύων ἐκπεποταμένα.
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.
In the cold grave where thou shalt lie
Unknown, unheeded, shalt thou die,
Thee too the years shall cover; thou shalt be
Woman dead, lie there;
Thou liest dead, and there will be no memory left behind
Yea, thou shalt die,
When thou fallest in death, dead shalt thou lie,
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.
Οὐδ' ἴαν δοκίμοιμι προσίδοισαν φάος ἀλίω
ἔσσεσθαι σοφίαν πάρθενον εἰς οὐδένα πω χρόνον
No one maiden I think shall at any time see the sunlight that shall be as wise as thou.
Methinks no maiden ever
Quoted by Chrysippus. It is probably out of the same ode as the preceding.
Τίς δ' ἀγροιῶτίς τοι θέλγει νόον,
οὐκ ἐπισταμένα τὰ βράκε' ἔλκην ἐπὶ τῶν σφύρων;
What country girl bewitches thy heart, who knows not how to draw her dress about her ankles?
What country maiden charms thee,
Athenaeus, speaking of the care which the ancients bestowed upon dress, says Sappho thus jests upon Andromeda. Three other authors quote the same lines.
Ἤρων ἐξεδίδαξ' ἐκ Γυάρων τὰν τανυσίδρομον.
I taught Hero of Gyara, the swift runner.
Quoted by Choeroboscus, to show the Aeolic accusative.
Ἀλλά τις οὐκ ἔμμι παλιγκότων
οργαν, ἀλλ' ἀβάκην τὰν φρέν' ἔχω ...
I am not of a malignant nature, but have a quiet temper.
Quoted in the Etymologicum Magnum to show the meaning of abakês, 'childlike, innocent.'
Αὐτὰρ ὀραῖαι στεφανηπλόκευν.
But charming [maidens] plaited garlands.
Quoted by the Scholiast on Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae 401, to show that plaiting wreaths was a sign of being in love.
Σύ τε κἄμος θεράπων Ἔρος.
Thou and my servant Love.
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.
Ἀλλ' ἔων φίλος ἄμμιν [ἄλλο]
λέχος ἄρνυσο νεώτερον·
οὐ γὰρ τλὰσομ' ἔγω ξυνοίκην
νέῳ γ' ἔσσα γεραιτέρα.
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.
From Stobaeus' Anthology, and Apostolius.
Εὐμορφοτέρα Μνασιδίκα τᾶς ἀπάλας Γυρίννως.
Mnasidica is more shapely than the tender Gyrinno.
Quoted by Hephaestion as an example of metre (cf. p. 24).
Ἀσαροτέρας οὔδαμ' ἐπ', ὦ ῎ραννα σέθεν τύχοισα.
Scornfuller than thee, Eranna, have I nowhere found.
Quoted by Hephaestion with the foregoing. The MSS. do not agree; perhaps hô 'ranna is an adjective, for hô erateinê, O lovely--.
Σὺ δὲ στεφάνοις, ὦ Δίκα, περθέσθ' ἐράταις φόβαισιν,
ὄρπακας ἀνήτοιο συν' ρραισ' ἀπάλαισι χέρσιν·
εὐάνθεσιν ἔκ γὰρ πέλεται καὶ χάριτος μακαιρᾶν
μᾶλλον προτέρην· ἀστεφανώτοισι δ' ἀπυστρέφονται.
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.
Here, fairest Rhodope, recline,
But place those garlands on thy lovely hair,
Of foliage and flowers love-laden
Mr. J. A. Symonds has also thus expanded the lines into a sonnet (1883):--
Bring summer flowers, bring pansy, violet,
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.'
Ἐγὼ δὲ φίλημ' ἀβροσύναν, καί μοι τὸ λάμπρον
ἔρος ... ἀελίω καὶ τὸ κάλον λέλογχεν.
I love delicacy, and for me Love has the sun's splendour and beauty.
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.'
Κὰμ μέν τε τύλαν κασπολέω.
And down I set the cushion.
Quoted by Herodian, along with fr. 50.
Ὀ πλοῦτος ἄνευ σεῦ γ' ἀρέτα 'στ' οὐκ ἀσίνης πάροικος
[ἠ δ' ἐξ ἀμφοτέρων κρᾶσις εὐδαιμονίας ἔχει τὸ ἄκρον].
Wealth without thee, Worth, is no safe neighbour [but the mixture of both is the height of happiness].
Wealth without virtue is a dangerous guest;
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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