Honestly I wish I were dead!


Honestly I wish I were dead!
Although she too cried bitterly

when she left, and said to me,
"Ah, what a nightmare it is now.
Sappho, I swear I go unwillingly."

And I answered, "Go, and be happy.
But remember me, for surely you
know how we worshiped you. If not,

then I want to remind you of all
the exquisite days
we two shared; how

you took garlands of violets
and roses, and when by my side
you tied them round you in soft bands,

and you took many flowers
and flung them in loops
about your sapling throat,

how the air was rich in a scent
of queenly spices made of myrrh
you rubbed smoothly on your limbs,

and on soft beds, gently, our desire
for delicate girls
was satisfied,

and how there was no dance and no
holy shrine
we two did not share,

no sound,
no grove."


       Greek; trans. Willis Barnstone


Sappho, Greek, trans. Willis Barnstone.