Sappho, tr. Thomas McEvilley

Sappho / Fragment 16
translated by Thomas McEviilley

Some say a host of cavalry, others of infantry, others
of ships, is the most beautiful thing on the dark
earth–but I say it is
whatever one loves;

and it is very easy to make this understood
by everyone, for she who far surpassed
all mankind in beauty, Helen,
leaving her husband, that noble man,

and sailing away, went to Troy,
and she did not care at all for her child
or her parents, but . . . led
her astray

. . .for bend-. . .
and lightly. . .
which now reminds me of Anactoria
who is not here,

whose lovely walk
and shining brightness of face
I would rather see than the chariots of Lydia
and foot-soldiers with all their armor.

 


from P-EPC Sapho/McEvevilley page