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Sappho, fragments 82-95 (Bergk) with Unicode Greek, from Wharton's Sappho. including fragments on Kleïs, the distractions of love, the unpicked apple, Hesperus (evening), and more, with translations by several hands, and contexts by Wharton.


Fr. 82

Αὔτα δὲ σὺ Καλλιόπα.
And thou thyself, Calliope.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Hephaestion when he is analysing a metre invented by Archilochus.

Fr. 83

Δαύοις ἀπάλας ἐτάρας
ἐν στήθεσιν ...
Sleep thou in the bosom of thy tender girlfriend.
H. T. Wharton

From the Etymologicum Magnum. Blass thinks that the proper place for this fragment is among the Epithalamia.

Fr. 84

Δεῦρο δηὖτε Μοῖσαι, χρύσιον λίποισαι.
Hither now, Muses, leaving golden ...
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Hephaestion as an example of a verse made of two Ithyphallics.

Fr. 85

Ἔστι μοι κάλα πάϊς, χρυσίοισιν ἀνθέμοισιν
ἐμφέρην ἔχοισα μόρφαν, Κλῆϊς' ἀγαπάτα,
ἀντί τᾶς ἔγω οὐδὲ Λυδίαν παῖσαν οὐδ' ἔρανναν.
I have a fair daughter with a form like a golden flower, Cleïs the beloved, above whom I [prize] nor all Lydia nor lovely [Lesbos] . . .
H. T. Wharton
I have a child, a lovely one,
In beauty like the golden sun,
Or like sweet flowers of earliest bloom;
And Claïs is her name, for whom
I Lydia's treasures, were they mine,
Would glad resign.
J. H. Merivale
A lovely little girl is ours,
        Kleïs the beloved,
        Kleïs is her name,
Whose beauty is as the golden flowers.
Frederick Tennyson

Quoted and elaborately scanned by Hephaestion, although Bergk regards the lines as merely trochaic.

Fr. 86

                    Πόλλα μοι τὰν
Πωλυανάκτιδα παῖδα χαῖρην.
All joy to thee, daughter of Polyanax.
H. T. Wharton

From Maximus Tyrius. It seems to be addressed to either Gorgo or Andromeda.


Fr. 87

Ζὰ δ' ἐλεξάμαν ὄναρ Κυπρογενήᾳ.
In a dream I spake with the daughter of Cyprus.
H. T. Wharton

I.e. Aphrodite. From Hephaestion.

Fr. 88

Τί με Πανδίονις ὦ ῎ραννα χελίδων;
Why, lovely swallow, daughter of Pandion, [weary] me?
H. T. Wharton

From Hephaestion, who says Sappho wrote whole songs in this metre. Hô ranna is Is. Vossius' emendation; hôrana is the ordinary reading, which Hesychius explains as perhaps an epithet of the swallow 'dwelling under the roof.'

Ah, Procne, wherefore dost thou weary me?
Thus flitting out and flitting in . . .
Tease not the air with this tumultuous wing.
Michael Field, 1889

Fr. 89

... Ἀμφὶ δ' ἄβροις λασίοις εὖ ϝε πύκασσεν.
She wrapped herself well in delicate hairy . . .
H. T. Wharton

From Pollux, who says the line refers to fine closely-woven linen.

Fr. 90

Γλύκεια μᾶτερ, οὔτοι δύναμαι κρέκην τὸν ἴστον,
πόθῳ δάμεισα παῖδος βραδίναν δι' Ἀφρόδιταν.
Sweet Mother, I cannot weave my web, broken as I am by longing for a boy, at soft Aphrodite's will.
H. T. Wharton
[As o'er her loom the Lesbian maid
        In love-sick languor hung her head,
Unknowing where her fingers strayed
        She weeping turned away and said--]

'Oh, my sweet mother, 'tis in vain,
        I cannot weave as once I wove,
So wildered is my heart and brain
        With thinking of that youth I love.'
T. Moore,
Evenings in Greece, p. 18.
Mother, I cannot mind my wheel;
My fingers ache, my lips are dry:
Oh, if you felt the pain I feel!
But oh, whoever felt as I ?
W. S. Landor, Simonidea, 1807.
Sweet mother, I can spin no more,
Nor ply the loom as heretofore,
For love of him.
Frederick Tennyson
Sweet mother, I the web
        Can weave no more;
Keen yearning for my love
        Subdues me sore,
And tender Aphrodite
        Thrills my heart's core.
M. J. Walhouse

Cf. Mrs. John Hunter's 'My mother bids me bind my hair,'etc.

From Hephaestion, as an example of metre.


Fr. 91

Ιψοι δὴ τὸ μέλαθρον
ἀέρρετε τέκτοντες ἄνδρες·
γάμβρος ἔρχεται ἶσος Ἄρευϊ,
ανδρος μεγάλω πόλυ μείζων·
Raise high the roof-beam, carpenters. (Hymenaeus!) Like Ares comes the bridegroom, (Hymenaeus!) taller far than a tall man. (Hymenaeus!)
H. T. Wharton
Artists, raise the rafters high!
        Ample scope and stately plan--
Mars-like comes the bridegroom nigh,
        Loftier than a lofty man.
Edinb. Rev., 1832, p. 109.

High lift the beams of the chamber,
        Workmen, on high;
Like Ares in step comes the Bridegroom;
Like him of the song of Terpander,
        Like him in majesty,
F.T. Palgrave, 1854.

Quoted by Hephaestion as an example of a mes-hymnic poem, where the refrain follows each line. The hymenaeus or wedding-song was sung by the bride's attendants as they led her to the bridegroom's house, addressing Hymen the god of marriage. The metre seems, says Professor Mahaffy (Hist. of Class. Greek Lit., i., p. 20, 1880), to be the same as that of the Linus song; cf. fr. 62.

Fr. 92

Πέρροχος, ὠς ὄτ' ἄοιδος ὀ Λέσβιος ἀλλοδάποισιν.
Towering, as the Lesbian singer towers among men of other lands.
H. T. Wharton

Quoted by Demetrius, about 150 A.D. It is uncertain what 'Lesbian singer' is here referred to; probably Terpander, but Neue thinks it may mean the whole Lesbian race, from their pre-eminence in poetry.

Fr. 93

Οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ' ὔσδῳ
ἄκρον ἐπ' ἀκροτάτῳ· λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες,
οὐ μὰν ἐκλελάθοντ', ἀλλ' οὐκ ἐδύναντ' ἐπίκεσθαι.
As the sweet-apple blushes on the end of the bough, the very end of the bough, which the gatherers overlooked, nay overlooked not but could not reach.
H. T. Wharton
        --O fair--O sweet!
As the sweet apple blooms high on the bough,
High as the highest, forgot of the gatherers:
        So thou:--
Yet not so: nor forgot of the gatherers;
High o'er their reach in the golden air,
        --O sweet--O fair!
F. T. Palgrave, 1854.

Quoted by the Scholiast on Hermogenes, and by others, to explain the word glukumalon, 'sweet-apple,' an apple grafted on a quince; it is used as a term of endearment by Theocritus (Idyl xi. 39), 'Of thee, my love, my sweet-apple, I sing.' Himerius, writing about 360 A.D., says: 'Aphrodite's orgies we leave to Sappho of Lesbos, to sing to the lyre and make the bride-chamber her theme. She enters the chamber after the games, makes the room, spreads Homer's bed, assembles the maidens, leads them into the apartment with Aphrodite in the Graces' car and a band of Loves for playmates. Binding her tresses with hyacinth, except what is parted to fringe her forehead, she lets the rest wave to the wind if it chance to strike them. Their wings and curls she decks with gold, and drives them in procession before the car as they shake the torch on high.' And particularly this: 'It was for Sappho to liken the maiden to an apple, allowing to those who would pluck before the time to touch not even with the finger-tip, but to him who was to gather the apple in season to watch its ripe beauty; to compare the bridegroom with Achilles, to match the youth's deeds with the hero's.' Further on he says: 'Come then, we will lead him into the bride-chamber and persuade him to meet the beauty of the bride. O fair and lovely, the Lesbian's praises appertain to thee: thy play-mates are rosy-ankled Graces and golden Aphrodite, and the Seasons make the meadows bloom.' These last words especially--

O fair, O lovely . . .

seem taken out of one of Sappho's hymeneal odes, although they also occur in Theocritus, Idyl xviii. 38.

Fr. 94

Οἴαν τὰν υάκινθον ἐν οὔρεσι ποίμενες ἄνδρες
πόσσι καταστείβοισι, χάμαι δ' ἐπιπορφύρει ἄνθος.
As on the hills the shepherds trample the hyacinth under foot, and the flower darkens on the ground.
H. T. Wharton

Compare Catullus, xi. 21-24:--

Think not henceforth, thou, to recall Catullus'
Love; thy own sin slew it, as on the meadow's
Verge declines, un-gently beneath the ploughshare
        Stricken, a flower.
(Robinson Ellis)

And Vergil, Aeneid, ix. 435, of Euryalus dying:--

And like the purple flower the plough cuts down
He droops and dies.

Pines she like to the hyacinth out on the path
        by the hill top;
Shepherds tread it aside, and its purples
        lie lost on the herbage.
Edwin Arnold, 1869

(A combination from Sappho.)


Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost bough,
A-top on the topmost twig,--which the pluckers forgot, somehow,--
Forgot it not, nay, but got it not, for none could get it till now.


Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the hills is found,
Which the passing feet of the shepherds for ever tear and wound,
Until the purple blossom is trodden into the ground.
D. G. Rossetti, 1870

In 1881 he altered the title to Beauty.(A combination from Sappho.)

Quoted by Demetrius, as an example of the ornament and beauty proper to a concluding sentence. Bergk first attributed the lines to Sappho.

Fr. 95

Ἔσπερε, πάντα φέρων, ὄσα φαίνολις ἔσκέδας' αὔως,
φέρεις οἶν, φέρες αἶγα, φέρεις ἄπυ ματέρι παῖδα.
Evening, thou that bringest all that bright morning scattered; thou bringest the sheep, the goat, the child back to her mother.
H. T. Wharton

Thus imitated by Byron:--

O Hesperus, thou bringest all good things--
        Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
To the young bird the parent's brooding wings,
        The welcome stall to the o'erlaboured steer;
Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings,
        Whate'er our household gods protect of dear,
Are gathered round us by thy look of rest;
Thou bring'st the child too to its mother's breast.
Byron's Don Juan, iii. 107.

And by Tennyson:--

The ancient poetess singeth, that Hesperus all things bringeth,
Smoothing the wearied mind: bring me my love, Rosalind.
Thou comest morning or even; she cometh not morning or evening.
False-eyed Hesper, unkind, where is my sweet Rosalind?
Leonine Elegiacs, 1830-1884.
Hesperus brings all things back
Which the daylight made us lack,
Brings the sheep and goats to rest,
Brings the baby to the breast.
Edwin Arnold, 1869
Hesper, thou bringest back again
        All that the gaudy daybeams part,
The sheep, the goat, back to their pen,
        The child home to his mother's heart.
Frederick Tennyson, 1890.
Evening, all things thou bringest
        Which dawn spread apart from each other;
The lamb and the kid thou bringest,
        Thou bringest the boy to his mother.
J. A. Symonds, 1883.
Hesper, whom the poet call'd the Bringer
        home of all good things.
Locksley Hall Sixty Years After, 1886

From the Etymologicum Magnum, where it is adduced to show the meaning of aiôs, 'dawn.' The fragment occurs also in Demetrius, as an example of Sappho's grace. One cannot but believe that Catullus had in his mind some such hymeneal ode of Sappho's as that in which this fragment must have occurred when he wrote his Vesper adest, juvenes, consurgite: Vesper Olympo, etc. (lxii.), part of which was imitated in the colloquy between Opinion and Truth in Ben Jonson's The Barriers.

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