Sappho’s “It was You, O Atthis”
in Real Audio
It was you, O Atthis, who that time uttered,
“Sappho, be assured if you won’t get up now
to allow us glimpses of you, I’ll never
love you again.
“Rise, release your suppleness, lifting off your
Chian nightgown, then let us see you — like a
lily leaning down to a fountain wellspring —
bathe in the water.
“Cleis brings your worthiest purple garment
and the yellow tunic down from the clothes chest;
you will have a cloak thrown upon you, flowers
crowning your tresses.
“Praxinoa, child of mine, will you please
roast us nuts for breakfast? For one of the gods
does us good: today we at last are going
“our most favored city, with Sappho, fairest
woman there, and she will travel among us
like a mother, all of her girls around her,
home from her exile.....”
— An adaptation/rendering of Sappho
by Jennifer Reeser