Selection from Sappho’s Lyre (University of California Press, 1991). Translation copyright 2000 Diane Rayor; all rights reserved.

        To me it seems
that man has the fortune of gods,
whoever sits beside you, and close,
who listens to you sweetly speaking
5and laughing temptingly;
my heart flutters in my breast,
whenever I look quickly, for a moment —
I say nothing, my tongue broken,
a delicate fire runs under my skin,
10my eyes see nothing, my ears roar,
cold sweat rushes down me,
trembling seizes me,
I am greener than grass,
to myself I seem
15needing but little to die.
But all must be endured, since . . .

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