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Prayer to Our Lady of Paphos
by Sappho

Dapple-throned Aphrodite,
eternal daughter of God,
snare-knitter! Don't, I beg you,

cow my heart with grief! Come,
as once when you heard my far-
off cry and, listening, stepped

from your father's house to your
gold car, to yoke the pair whose
beautiful thick-feathered wings

oaring down mid-air from heaven
carried you to light swiftly
on dark earth; then, blissful one,

smiling your immortal smile
you asked, What ailed me now that
me call you again? What

was it that my distracted
heart most wanted? ``Whom has
Persuasion to bring round now

``to your love? Who, Sappho, is
unfair to you? For, let her
run, she will soon run after;

``if she won't accept gifts, she
will one day give them; and if
she won't love you --- she soon will

``love, although unwillingly...''
If ever --- come now! Relieve
this intolerable pain!

What my heart most hopes will
happen, make happen; you your-
self join forces on my side!

Sappho
tr. Barnard