Pastorals Epistles Odes (1748)/Sappho
An Hymn to VENUS, from
the Greek of SAPPHO.
If ever thou haſt kindly hear'd
A ſong in ſoft diſtreſs prefer'd, 8
Propitious to my tuneful vow,
O gentle goddeſs! hear me now.
Deſcend thou bright, immortal, gueſt,
In all thy radiant charms confeſs'd. 12
Thou once didſt leave almighty Jove,
And all the golden roofs above:
The car thy wanton ſparrows drew;
Hov'ring in air they lightly flew; 16
As to my bower they wing'd their way,
I ſaw their quiv'ring pinions play.
The birds difmiſs'd (while you remain)
Bore back their empty car again: 20
Then you, with looks divinely mild,
In ev'ry heav'nly feature ſmil'd,
And ask'd, what new complaints I made,
And why I call'd you to my aid? 24
What frenzy in my boſom rag'd,
And by what care to be aſſwag'd?
What gentle youth I would allure,
Whom in my artful toils ſecure? 28
Who does thy tender heart ſubdue,
Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?
Tho now he ſhuns thy longing arms,
He ſoon ſhall court thy ſlighted charms; 32
Tho now thy offerings he deſpiſe,
He ſoon to thee ſhall ſacrifice;
Tho now he freez, he ſoon ſhall burn,
And be thy victim in his turn. 36
Celeſtial viſitant, once more
Thy needful preſence I implore!
In pity come and eaſe my grief,
Bring my diſtemper'd ſoul relief: 40
Favour thy ſuppliant's hidden fires,
And give me all my heart deſires.
Fragment of SAPPHO.
'Twas this depriv'd my ſoul of reſt,
And rais'd ſuch tumults in my breaſt;
For while I gaz'd, in tranſport toſs'd,
My breath was gone, my voice was loſt. 8
My boſom glow'd; the ſubtle flame
Ran quick through all my vital frame;
O'er my dim eyes a darkneſs hung,
My ears with hollow murmurs rung. 12
In dewy damps my limbs were chill'd,
My blood with gentle horrors thrill'd;
My feeble pulſe forgot to play,
I fainted, ſunk, and dy'd away. 16