Wednesday, April 16, 2014

'Some say that the fairest thing upon the dark earth is a host of horsemen...'

Okay, blogging today is still not going to happen, so I'm going to leave you with one of my favourite poems by Sappho.

Sappho (Σαπφώ) was a Hellenic lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos (Λέσβος) around 620 BC, although the exact date is unknown. She wrote beautiful and highly romantic poetry that comes and goes straight to the heart. One of my favorite hymns is by her: the Hymn to Aphrodite. Today, you are getting a poem on love, on fate, and on everything that matters in life, indexed usually as 'Some say that the fairest thing upon the dark earth is a host of horsemen...'. Enjoy and hopefully, I'll have a real post for you tomorrow.


A troop of horse, the serried ranks of marchers,
A noble fleet, some think these of all on earth
Most beautiful. For me naught else regarding
Is my beloved.

To understand this is for all most simple,
For thus gazing much on mortal perfection
And knowing already what life could give her,
Him chose fair Helen,

Him the betrayer of Ilium's honour.
The recked she not of adored child or parent,
But yielded to love, and forced by her passion,
Dared Fate in exile.

Thus quickly is bent the will of that woman
To whom things near and dear seem to be nothing.
So mightest thou fail, My Anactoria,
If she were with you.

She whose gentle footfall and radiant face
Hold the power to charm more than a vision
Of chariots and the mail-clad battalions
Of Lydia's army.

So must we learn in world made as this one
Man can never attain his greatest desire,
[But must pray for what good fortune Fate holdeth,
Never unmindful.]


2 comments:

heathenchinese said...

Thanks for sharing this poem!

heathenchinese said...

Thanks for sharing this poem!