Pastorals Epistles Odes (1748)/Sappho

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An Hymn to VENUS, from
the Greek of SAPPHO.


O Venus, beauty of the skies,
To whom a thouſand temples riſe,
Gayly falſe in gentle ſmiles,
Full of love-perplexing wiles, 4
O goddeſs! from my heart remove
The waſting cares and pains of love.


If ever thou haſt kindly hear'd
A ſong in ſoft diſtreſs prefer'd, 8
Propitious to my tuneful vow,
O gentle goddeſs! hear me now.
Deſcend thou bright, immortal, gueſt,
In all thy radiant charms confeſs'd. 12


Thou once didſt leave almighty Jove,
And all the golden roofs above:
The car thy wanton ſparrows drew;
Hov'ring in air they lightly flew; 16
As to my bower they wing'd their way,
I ſaw their quiv'ring pinions play.


The birds difmiſs'd (while you remain)
Bore back their empty car again: 20
Then you, with looks divinely mild,
In ev'ry heav'nly feature ſmil'd,
And ask'd, what new complaints I made,
And why I call'd you to my aid? 24


What frenzy in my boſom rag'd,
And by what care to be aſſwag'd?
What gentle youth I would allure,
Whom in my artful toils ſecure? 28
Who does thy tender heart ſubdue,
Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?


Tho now he ſhuns thy longing arms,
He ſoon ſhall court thy ſlighted charms; 32
Tho now thy offerings he deſpiſe,
He ſoon to thee ſhall ſacrifice;
Tho now he freez, he ſoon ſhall burn,
And be thy victim in his turn. 36


Celeſtial viſitant, once more
Thy needful preſence I implore!
In pity come and eaſe my grief,
Bring my diſtemper'd ſoul relief: 40
Favour thy ſuppliant's hidden fires,
And give me all my heart deſires.

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Fragment of SAPPHO.


BLESS'D as the immortal gods is he,
The youth who fondly ſits by thee,
And hears and ſees thee all the while
Softly ſpeak and ſweetly ſmile. 4


'Twas this depriv'd my ſoul of reſt,
And rais'd ſuch tumults in my breaſt;
For while I gaz'd, in tranſport toſs'd,
My breath was gone, my voice was loſt. 8


My boſom glow'd; the ſubtle flame
Ran quick through all my vital frame;
O'er my dim eyes a darkneſs hung,
My ears with hollow murmurs rung. 12


In dewy damps my limbs were chill'd,
My blood with gentle horrors thrill'd;
My feeble pulſe forgot to play,
I fainted, ſunk, and dy'd away. 16



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Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.