Gillian Spraggs
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Fragment 1

Intricately adorned with flowers, deathless child of Zeus,
Aphrodite, weaver of plots: 
I beg of you,
do not, my lady, wear down my spirit with heartache and grief,

but come to me here, if ever before
you caught my distant cry,
and listened to me, and came,
leaving your father's golden house, 

your chariot yoked: 
sparrows, beautiful, swift, their packed wings beating,
drew you down from the sky through the middle air, 
above the black earth;

suddenly they arrived; 
and you, goddess, a smile on your deathless face, 
asked me what ailed me this time, 
and why I called on you this time,
and what was the special wish of my love-crazed soul:
"Whom shall I seduce back to your love
this time?  Who is it, Sappho,
who flouts you?

No doubt of it: if she's in flight, soon she'll pursue;
if presents she will not accept, she shall give;
if she does not love, then love she shall, and soon,
even against her wish."

Come to me now once again,
and free me from thoughts hard to bear;
what my soul longs for, fulfil;
you yourself be my comrade in battle.  
translated by Gillian Spraggs
Published in What Lesbians Do In Books ed. Elaine Hobby and Chris White, London, the Women's Press, 1991
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© Gillian Spraggs, 1991, 2006
page added to site on 25 February, 2006 | last modified 24 November, 2006