Fragment 31 of Sappho (English Translation)


He seems an equal of the gods,
That man who sits across from you
And your sweet speaking, being near,
Can overhear

And that seductive laugh, which sets
the heart to flutter in my chest
For when I glance your way, my words
Dissolve unheard.

Silence breaks my tongue and subtle
fire streams beneath my skin,
I can't see with my eyes, or hear
through buzzing ears.

Sweat runs down, a shiver shakes
Me deep -- I feel as pale as grass:
As close to death as that, and green,
Is how I seem.


Translation copyright © 2008 Richard Welland Crowell