Sappho, fragments 96-120 (Bergk), from Wharton's Sappho. including fragments on A bridegoom's blessing, Maidenhood lost, Timas, Pelagon, and more, with translations by several hands, and contexts by Wharton.
I shall be ever maiden.
From a Parisian MS. edited by Cramer, adduced to show the Aeolic form of aei, 'ever.'
We will give, says the father . . .
From a Parisian MS. edited by Cramer.
To the doorkeeper feet seven fathoms long, and sandals of five bulls' hides, the work of ten cobblers.
From Hephaestion, as an example of metre. Demetrius says: 'And elsewhere Sappho girds at the rustic bridegroom and the doorkeeper ready for the wedding, in prosaic rather than poetic phrase, as if she were reasoning rather than singing, using words out of harmony with dance and song.'
Happy bridegroom, now is thy wedding come to thy desire, and thou hast the maiden of thy desire.
Happy bridegroom, thou art blest
Quoted by Hephaestion, along with the following, to exemplify metres; both fragments seem to belong to the same ode.
And a soft [paleness] is spread over the lovely face.
In the National Library of Madrid there is a MS. of an epithalamium by Choricius, a rhetorician of Gaza, who flourished about 520 A.D., in which the lamented Ch. Graux (Revue de Philologie, 1880, p. 81) found a quotation from Sappho which is partly identical with this fragment preserved by Hephaestion. H. Weil thus attempts to restore the passage:--[Greek omitted]
Well favoured is thy form, and thine eyes . . .
Two apparent imitations by Catullus are quoted by Weil to confirm his restoration of Sappho's verses; viz., mellitos oculos, honeyed eyes (48, 1), and pulcher es, neque te Venus negligit, fair thou art, nor does Venus neglect thee (61, 194).
He who is fair to look upon is [good], and he who is good will soon be fair also.
Beauty, fair flower, upon the surface lies;
Galen, the physician, writing about 160 A.D., says: 'It is better therefore, knowing that the beauty of youth is like Spring flowers, its pleasure lasting but a little while, to approve of what the Lesbian [here] says, and to believe Solon when he points out the same.'
Do I still long for maidenhood?
Quoted by Apollonius, and by the Scholiast on Dionysius of Thrace, to illustrate the interrogative particle ara, Aeolic êra and as an example of the catalectic iambic.
The bride [comes] rejoicing; let the bridegroom rejoice.
From Hephaestion, as a catalectic iambic.
Whereunto may I well liken thee, dear bridegroom?
From Hephaestion, as an example of metre.
Hail, bride! noble bridegroom, all hail!
Quoted by Servius, about 390 A.D., on Vergil, Georg. i. 31; also referred to by Pollux and Julian.
For there was no other girl, O bridegroom, like her.
From Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
Fr. 107, 108
From Plotius, about the fifth or sixth century A.D., to show the metre of Sappho's hymeneal odes. The text is corrupt; the first verse is thus emended by Bergk, the second by Scaliger. Cf. fr. 63
EPITHALAMIA, BRIDAL SONGS
A. Maidenhood, maidenhood, whither art thou gone away from me!
'Sweet Rose of May, sweet Rose of May,
From Demetrius, who quoted the fragment to show the grace of Sappho's style and the beauty of repetition.
Fool, faint not thou in thy strong heart.
From a very corrupt passage in Herodian. The translation is from Bergk's former emendation--
'Alla mê kame sterean phrena.
To himself he seems . . .
From Apollonius, to show that the Aeolians used the digamma. Bergk says this fragment does not belong to fr. 2.
Much whiter than an egg.
From Athenaeus; cf. frs. 56 and 122.
Neither honey nor bee for me.
A proverb quoted by many late authors, referring to those who wish for good unmixed with evil. They seem to be the words of the bride. This, and the second line of fr. 62, and many other verses, show Sappho's fondness for alliteration; frs. 4 and 5, among several others, show that she did not ignore the charm of assonance.
Stir not the shingle.
Quoted by the Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius to show that cherades were 'little heaps of stones.'
Thou burnest us.
My life is bitter with thy love; thine eyes
Quoted by Apollonius to show the Aeolic form of hêmas, 'us.'
A napkin dripping.
From the Scholiast on Aristophanes' Plutus, quoted to show the meaning of hêmitubion, 'a half worn out shred of linen with which to wipe the hands.'
She called him her son.
Quoted by Apollonius to' show the Aeolic use of the digamma.
All three are preserved only in the Greek Anthology. The authenticity of the last, fr. 120, is doubtful. To none of them does Bergk restore the form of the Aeolic dialect.
Maidens, dumb as I am, I speak thus, if any ask, and set before your feet a tireless voice: To Leto's daughter Aethopia was I dedicated by Arista daughter of Hermocleides son of Saonaiades, thy servant, O queen of women; whom bless thou, and deign to glorify our house.
ON A PRIESTESS OF DIANA.
The goddess here invoked as the 'queen of women' appears to have been Artemis, the Diana of the Romans.
This is the dust of Timas, whom Persephone's dark chamber received, dead before her wedding; when she perished, all her fellows dressed with sharpened steel the lovely tresses of their heads.
This dust was Timas'; ere her bridal hour
This is the dust of Timas, whom unwed
Over the fisherman Pelagon his father Meniscus set weel and oar, memorial of a luckless life.
ON A FISHERMAN.
Here, to the fisher Pelagan, his sire Meniscus laid
Above a fisher's tomb
Bergk sees no reason to accept the voice of tradition in attributing this epigram to Sappho.
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