To Atthis

(After the Manuscript of Sappho now in Berlin)

Atthis, far from me and dear Mnasidika,
Dwells in Sardis;
Many times she was near us
So that we lived life well
Like the far–famed goddess
Whom above all things music delighted.

And now she is first among the Lydian women
As the mighty sun, the rose-fingered moon,
Beside the great stars.

And the light fades from the bitter sea
And in like manner from the rich-blossoming earth;
And the dew is shed upon the flowers,
Rose and soft meadow–sweet
And many–coloured melilote.

Many things told are remembered of sterile Atthis.

I yearn to behold thy delicate soul
To satiate my desire.  .  .  .
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Richard Aldington