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< Theme 8. Love and Courtship (ii) >


< Ode to Aphrodite II

From your painted throne, Immortal Aphrodite,
Child of Zeus, great weaver of plots,
I beg you not to cast me down,
With hard reproaches.

But come, if ever you came before,
Hearing my lonely voice from afar,
If ever before you left your father’s 
Golden palace;

Come on the wings of birds through the air,
Yoking your car to their powerful flight,
Wings a-whirring out of heaven, 
Earthward bound.

And you came, suddenly, Divine Spirit,
Timeless goddess with an ageless smile,
Asking what it was that hurt,
And why I cried.

“What is your heart’s desire, Sappho?
And who is in need of my gentle persuasion? 
Vainly fighting the power of love?
Say who resists!

“Make bold, take heart, for now if she flees,
Tomorrow she follows; now she refuses,
Tomorrow, submits; now hates, tomorrow
She loves and adores.”

Lady! Now I am newly released
My spirit soars, loosing my bonds,
Happy to go with Your mighty aid
Back to the battle.

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