Thanks to AKE for the pointer the the Times Literary Supplemement website which contains further details, and an extract from the poem: "We have a poem of twelve lines, made up of six two-line stanzas. The last eight lines are virtually complete. The first four are still lacking two or three words each at their beginnings. But we can make out the sentence structure and restore the sense of what is lost, if not the exact words. Here is the poem in my own restoration and translation. The words in square brackets are supplied by conjecture. "[You for] the fragrant-blossomed Muses’ lovely gifts [be zealous,] girls, [and the] clear melodious lyre: [but my once tender] body old age now [has seized;] my hair’s turned [white] instead of dark; my heart’s grown heavy, my knees will not support me, that once on a time were fleet for the dance as fawns. This state I oft bemoan; but what’s to do? Not to grow old, being human, there’s no way. Tithonus once, the tale was, rose-armed Dawn, love-smitten, carried off to the world’s end, handsome and young then, yet in time grey age o’ertook him, husband of immortal wife."
Monday, June 27, 2005
More on the Sappho Love Poem