Page:Sappho and the Vigil of Venus (1920).djvu/23

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SAPPHO.

Hear thy laugh love-thrilling! In thy net tangled
Then my breast's bird wildly his wings must flutter!
One, one furtive glance—and my breath is strangled;
Nought can I utter:

Palsied fails my tongue, and a wildfire subtle
'Neath my skin is suddenly coursing, searing
These mine eyes blind: throbbeth my pulses' shuttle,
Stunning mine hearing.

Drops of anguish slip from my forehead: quivers
Every limb: parched grass by the sickle laid is
Not so pale: my frame in a death-swoon shivers
Close unto Hades.

Yet I blench not!—ev'n to the beggar gleaming
Treasure shines in dreams, that his sleep is golden:
So my love hopes ever: in happy dreaming
Still am I holden.

Yet my dream is troubled, as yearning, straining,
Empty arms I stretch, and I wake with weeping.
Let the dawn-wind scatter my heart-sick paining
Swiftly down-sweeping!

Aphrodite, crownèd with gold, O give me
Love for my lot, even my heart's dream-treasure!
This, whereof my rival would fain bereave me,
Grant of thy pleasure!