Rachel Hadas reads

Pursue the beautiful gifts of the violet Muses

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A poem by Sappho trans. by Diane Rayor:

Pursue the beautiful gifts of the violet Muses,
you children, and the high, song-loving lyre.

My skin was soft before, but now old age
claims it; my hair’s gone from black to white.

My spirit has grown heavy; knees can’t hold me,
though once they could dance, light as fawns.

I often groan, but what can I do?
Being an ageless human is not possible.

For they say rosy-armed Dawn in love
went to the ends of earth holding Tithonos,

beautiful and young, but in time grey old age
seized him too, even with an immortal wife.