Like the Rose-Toed Moon

Sappho fr. 96  P. Berol. 9722 fol. 5

“She was looking at you as a goddess
And took special pleasure in your song.

Now she stands out among the Lydian women
The way the rose-toed moon outshines
All of the stars at the moment
When the sun goes down–
Her light falls over the briny sea
And the flowering fields equally.

Dew drips down in beauty
And roses open their blooms
Along with soft chervil and
Blossoming melilot.

As she moves back and forth
She often recalls Atthis with longing,
And she burdens her sensitive thoughts
Because of you…”

σε θέαι σ᾿ ἰκέλαν ἀριγνώται,
σᾶι δὲ μάλιστ᾿ ἔχαιρε μόλπα.
νῦν δὲ Λύδαισιν ἐμπρέπεται γυναί-
κεσσιν ὤς ποτ᾿ ἀελίω
δύντος ἀ βροδοδάκτυλος σελάννα
πάντα περρέχοισ᾿ ἄστρα· φάος δ᾿ ἐπί-
σχει θάλασσαν ἐπ᾿ ἀλμύραν
ἴσως καὶ πολυανθέμοις ἀρούραις·
ἀ δ᾿ ἐέρσα κάλα κέχυται, τεθά-
λαισι δὲ βρόδα κἄπαλ᾿ ἄνθρυσκα
καὶ μελίλωτος ἀνθεμώδης·
πόλλα δὲ ζαφοίταισ᾿, ἀγάνας ἐπι-
μνάσθεισ᾿ Ἄτθιδος ἰμέρῳ
λέπταν ποι φρένα κ[ᾶ][ι σᾶι] βόρηται·
κῆθι δ᾿ ἔλθην ἀμμ . [ . . ] . . ισα τδ᾿ οὐ

a red moon rising. Photograph.

3 thoughts on “Like the Rose-Toed Moon

  1. Wait, what? Is there something about the Aeolic that makes βροδοδάκτυλος refer to toes while ῥοδοδάκτυλος is always translated as rosy-fingered in Homer? Or are you just having fun? 🙂

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