Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


XII

In a dream I spoke with the Cyprus-born,
      And said to her,
"Mother of beauty, mother of joy,
Why hast thou given to men


"This thing called love, like the ache of a wound
      In beauty's side,
To burn and throb and be quelled for an hour
And never wholly depart?"

And the daughter of Cyprus said to me,
      "Child of the earth,
Behold, all things are born and attain,
But only as they desire,—

"The sun that is strong, the gods that are wise,
     The loving heart,
Deeds and knowledge and beauty and joy,—
But before all else was desire."

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 7, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


This poem was published in Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics (Chatto and Windus, 1907), translated by Bliss Carman.

Author


Sappho

Only a handful of details are known about the life of Sappho.

Date Published: 1907-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/xii