It Was You, Atthis, Who Said
Poem by Sappho
It was you, Atthis, who said
"Sappho, if you will not get
up and let us look at you
I shall never love you again!
"Get up, unleash your suppleness,
lift off your Chian nightdress
and, like a lily leaning into
"a spring, bathe in the water.
Cleis is bringing your best
pruple frock and the yellow
"tunic down from the clothes chest;
you will have a cloak thrown over
you and flowers crowning your hair...
"Praxinoa, my child, will you please
roast nuts for our breakfast? One
of the gods is being good to us:
"today we are going at last
into Mitylene, our favorite
city, with Sappho, loveliest
"of its women; she will walk
among us like a mother with
all her daughters around her
"when she comes home from exile..."
But you forget everything
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