To the Muse of Lyric Song.
O Queen of Song, who art throned on gold,
Upraise the strain which the singer of old,
Even he of Teos,—the goodly town
Whose daughters wear beauty's royal crown,—
From ravishment-breathing lips outrolled,
A chant of undying renown.
Self-restraint when angered.
When wrath's wild-surging tide hath broken
The floodgates of thy breast, refrain
Thy tongue, lest words in passion spoken
Be mad and vain.
Quoted by Aristotle (Rhetoric, 1, 9) as a dialogue between Alcaeus and Sappho.
Alcaeus.O violet-wreathed, O pure as snow
Sappho, whose voice is honey-sweet,
Something I fain would say—but O,
Shame on my tongue hath set her feet.