Symmachus

Publishing, classics, mood swings

Archive for February, 2009

Sappho 81b

Put lovely garlands, Dika, in your hair
with soft hands binding strands of dill:

then you will flower, and the blessed Graces
shall come near; they turn away from the ungarlanded.

σὺ δὲ στεφάνοις, ὦ Δίκα, πέρθεσθ’ ἐράτοις φόβαισιν
ὄρπακας ἀνήτω συναέρραισ’ ἀπάλαισι χέρσιν·

εὐάνθεμος ὢς γὰρ πέλεαι καὶ Χάριτες μάκαιραι
μᾶλλον προσέσοντ’, ἀστεφανώτοισι δ’ ἀπυστρέφονται.

Some spacious and perhaps philologically indefensible conjectures have made sense of the poetry:

εὐάνθεμος ὢς γὰρ πέλεαι (’then you will flower’): εὐάνθεα γὰρ πέλεται (’for they are flowery’, unmetrical).
προσέσοντ’ (’shall come near’): προτέρην (’former’, senseless).

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