Sappho Fragment

Diehl 94 / Voigt 168b / Cox 48 (Source for the original Greek)

Δέδυκε μὲν ἀ σελάννα

καὶ Πληίαδες· μέσαι δὲ νύκτες,

παρὰ δ᾽ ἔρχετ᾽ ὤρα·

ἔγω δὲ μόνα κατεύδω

The Moon has set

and the Seven Stars;

it is the middle of the night,

and the hour is passing;

but I sleep alone.

The translation is mine, albeit with a great deal of help from my professor and the rest of the class. I have done my best to achieve a balance between a literal translation and maintaining a sense of the poetry.  The “hour” (ὤρα) of which Sappho speaks conveys a strong implication of “opportunity”, much as it can in some English usages.

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2 Comments

Filed under art, scholarship

2 responses to “Sappho Fragment

  1. Beautiful. Thank you for translating and sharing.

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