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Theme 8: Love and Courtship >

Sappho

Ode to Aphrodite I >

painting by Jean Baptiste Regnault 1754-1829


Leave ancient Crete and come to our temple,
To our grove of fragrant trees,
Where the swirling mist of frankincense 
Intoxicates the senses,
And shadows dapple the fruitful earth;
Where the cooling waters bubble
And dance on down through the sylvan meadows,
To where the horses graze.

See, in the meadows our horses graze
Among the distant trees,
Where blossom hangs on all the branches,
The ornament of Spring.
The scent of dill is in the air,
And roses shade the bower,
The cool and fragrant resting place,
Where we lie half asleep.

Queen! Cyprian! Aphrodite!
Bring nectar in golden goblets,
And stir into the heady draught
Your powerful magic potion
So we may drink and taste and prove
The sweet Delights of Love.

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