TO ATTHIS

(After the Manuscript of Sappho now in Berlin)

 

Atthis, far from me and dear Mnasidika,

Dwells in Sardis;

Many times she was near us

So that we lived life well

Like the far–famed goddess

Whom above all things music delighted.

And now she is first among the Lydian women

As the mighty sun, the rose-fingered moon,

Beside the great stars.

And the light fades from the bitter sea

And in like manner from the rich-blossoming earth;

And the dew is shed upon the flowers,

Rose and soft meadow–sweet

And many–coloured melilote.

Many things told are remembered of sterile Atthis.

I yearn to behold thy delicate soul

To satiate my desire.  .  .  .

Richard Aldington

 

REFERENCES

Kenner, Hugh. The Pound Era. London: Laber & Faber, 1971 [detailed commentary on Aldington's translation, 55-59].

Sappho. [To Atthis.] Trans. Richard Aldington. Des Imagistes. Ed. Ezra Pound. http://nickm.com/des_imagistes/to-atthis.html (21 Aug 2016).