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           Sappho (c.610 - c.580 BC)
   Translated by William Bowles (17th century)

            Sapho's Ode out of Longinus.

                          By the same.


    THE Gods are not more blest than he,
    Who fixing his glad Eyes on thee,
    With thy bright Rays his Senses chears,
    And drinks with ever thirsty ears.
    The charming Musick of thy Tongue,
    Does ever hear, and ever long;
    That sees with more than humane Grace,
    Sweet smiles adorn thy Angel Face.


        But when with kinder beams you shine,
    And so appear much more divine,
    My feeble sense and dazl'd sight,
    No more support the glorious light,
    And the fierce Torrent of Delight.
    Oh! then I feel my Life decay,
    My ravish'd Soul then flies away,
    Then Faintness does my Limbs surprize,
    And Darkness swims before my Eyes.


        Then my Tongue fails, and from my Brow
    The liquid drops in silence flow,
    Then wand'ring Fires run through my Blood,
    And Cold binds up the stupid Flood,
    All pale, and breathless then I lye,
    I sigh, I tremble, and I dye.


The above translation can be found, for example, in:
  • Tate, Nahum, ed. Poems By Several Hands, and on Several Occasions London: for J. Hindmarsh, 1685.
  • Poole, Adrian, and Jeremy Maul, eds. The Oxford Book of Classical Verse in Translation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

    The anthologist, Nahum Tate, was Poet Laureate of England from 1692 until 1715.