Sunday, February 15, 2004

More Greek Lyrics

To celebrate love, or perhaps to commiserate with those unhappy in love. And a few unrelated ones, to get us ready for Monday.

On Love:

Here I lie mournful with desire,
feeble in the bitterness of the pain gods inflicted upon me,
stuck through the bones with love.
If it only were my fortune just to touch Neoboule's hand.
Such is the passion for love that has twisted its way beneath
my heartstrings.
and closed deep mist across my eyes
stealing the soft heart from inside my body...
Archilochus of Paros

The love god with his golden curls
puts a bright ball into my hand,
shows a girl in her fancy shoes,
and suggests that I take her.

Not that girl - she's the other kind,
one from Lesbos. Disdainfully,
nose turned up at my silver hair,
she makes eyes at the ladies.
Anacreon of Theos

Like the very god in my sights is he who
sits where he can look in your eyes, who listens
close to you, to hear the soft voice, its sweetness
murmur in love and
laughter, all for him. But it breaks my spirit;
underneath my breast all the heart is shaken.
Let me only glance where you are, the voice dies,
I can say nothing,

but my lips are stricken to silence, underneath
my skin the tenuous flame suffuses;
nothing shows in front of my eyes, my ears are muted in thunder.

And the sweat breaks running upon me, fever
shakes my body, paler I turn than grass is;
I can feel that I have been changed, I feel that
death has come near me.
Sappho of Mytilene

Had enough of love, for the time being?

The God of Wealth, who's altogether blind, never
came walking in my door and told me:"Hipponax,
I'm giving you three hundred silver mna pieces,
and much beside." Not he. He's far too mean-hearted.
Hipponax of Ephesos

The fox knows many tricks, the hedgehog only one.
One good one.
Archilochus of Paros

Source: Greek Lyrics, translated by Richmond Lattimore.