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

Praxilla 1 (PMG 747)

       The fairest thing I leave behind is sunlight,
then shining stars and the full moon’s face,
and also ripe cucumbers, and apples and pears.

2 (PMG 748)

       Yet they never persuaded your heart.

3 (PMG 749)

       Learning from the tale of Admetos, my friend, love the brave
but avoid cowards, knowing the gratitude of cowards is small.

4 (PMG 750)

       Watch for a scorpion, my friend, under every stone.

5 (PMG 754)

       You who look lovely from the windows —
a virgin face, but newly wed below . . .

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