Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Now Pipes the Bitter Wind

O Sappho, thy love of beauty is the beauty of thy love.
With wine-dark seas for eyes and soft sea breeze for hair
Your smile is the golden sunrise, warm, fresh, and, fair.
No flower seeks a need,
No sparrow sings its chorus with thought of varied paths;
They simply are for Love’s sake,
Devoted as to music is the flute’s reed.
Thy passions are divinely guided,
Their expressions sound and fair.
Not a single drop of morning dew outlasts the noonday sun;
But your words of love so pleasing are yet but two and a half millennia young.

Now pipes the bitter wind! Love so frail a thing!
Where are the gods above? Where the hope? The wisdom of days?
On the far horizon an angry star burns! The seas will soon hide it,
But not quench it.
The sins and shame of Man prevails,
But it is a thing that would kill itself. Nothing will remain.
Perhaps a seed has hid itself away… perhaps it will grow with the spring rains
And bloom again someday.
And perhaps a bee as well; hidden for a time beneath the sheltering ground;
It will rise and find its way to the bloom, and thereupon will be a world again!
The sunlight will mean something, and the moon as well!
No longer just an angry star bent upon exposing us for what we are.
The seas will freshen, new winds will blow… no longer pipes a bitter wind,
Love will find its way again.
I once knew a maid who sang a song. Her gentle tune moved me so.
Her lyrics spoke so true; I could not turn away!
Her beauty grew.
And now with all the harm and hate it is her that comes to mind.
Perhaps these harsh unspeakable times shall be sang to the sweetest of tunes;
The seed and flower, butterfly and moon;
and the wind will pipe a less bitter tune.
And Sappho rule the heart again.

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