I have a Daughter,Cleis

I have a small
daughter called
Cleis, who is
like a golden
flower
I wouldn’t
take all Croesus’
kingdom with love
thrown in, for her

Don’t ask me what to wear
I have no embroidered
headband from Sardis to
give you, Cleis, such as
I wore
and my mother
always said that in her
day a purple ribbon
looped in the hair was thought
to be high style indeed

but we were dark:
a girl
whose hair is yellower than
torchlight should wear no
headdress but fresh flowers

–by Sappho- (630 and 612 BCE, and it is said that she died around 570 BCE)

–Translated by Mary Barnard

–Source:  gopher://gopher.OCF.Berkeley.EDU:70/
00/Library/Poetry/Sappho/sappho.Cleis

http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/sappho.html

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I have a daughter

“I have a daughter, golden,

Beautiful, like a flower –

Kleis, my love –

And I would not exchange her for

All the riches of Lydia……”

Sappho
(Original, on papyrus)

Ἕστι μοι κάλα πάισ χρυσίοισιν ἀνθέμοισιν
ἐμφέρην ἔχοισα μόρφαν, Κλῆισ ἀγαπάτα,
ἀντι τᾶσ ἔγω οὐδὲ Λυδίαν παῖσαν οὐδ᾽ ἔρανναν.”

(Original, in ancient Greek, Sappho ~630-570BC)

“E?’sti moi ka’la pa’is xrusi’oisin a?nðe’moisin
e?mfe’rhn e?’xoisa mo’rfan, Klh^is a?gapa’ta,
a?nti ta^s e?’gw ou?de` Ludi’an pai^san ou?d? e?’rannan.”

(Original, transcription)

References:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/usappho/sph83.htm

http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/sappho.html

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