Sappho and Old AgeBy Sappho of Lesbos
April 10, 2010
Grasp eagerly, girls, for fine gifts of crimson-bodiced
Muses, for the sweet peal of lyre.
My own once tender flesh has fallen into clutch
Of age, once dark hair turned leper white.
My heart plumbed by time, knees unfit for my own weight,
Which once sprang to fawn-like dance.
Oh I do go on about these things, but what to do?
Eternal youth is no human’s birthright.
For Tithonus of the tale, kidnapped by love-struck,
Rose-armed Dawn, and taken to world’s end,
Despite his immortal mate, and all his fine youth,
Could not outstrip white-haired age.
Translated by Uche Ogbuji