Henry Alford

(1810-1871 / England)

Fragments From Sappho


I. Hesperus, thou bringest near
Hesperus, thou bringest near
All that garish day
Scattered far away:
Thou bringest back the sheep,
Thou bringest back the goat,
Thou bringest back the children to their mother dear.

II. Sweet mother mine, I cannot weave my web
Sweet mother mine, I cannot weave my web,
For I am faint with deep desire
For thinking of the youth I love.

III. Full--faced in the sky the moon was shining
Full--faced in the sky the moon was shining,
The maidens were standing round the altar.

IV. All the stars that cluster around the moonlight
All the stars that cluster around the moonlight
Back from sight their glittering faces cover,
Whensoe'er the earth at the full she lightens.

V. Thou shalt lie in the grave: never of thee mention or memory
Thou shalt lie in the grave: never of thee mention or memory
Men shall hold in the long ages to come. Thou hast inherited
No Pierian flowers: down in the dark house of forgetfulness
Thou shalt go with the dim ghosts of the dead, flitting and vanishing.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010
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