Shame on the Tip of the Tongue

Sappho Fr. 137 [Arist. Rhet. 1367a (p. 47 Römer)]

“I want to say something but shame
Stops me.

But if you had a taste for the noble or kind
And not some tongue ready to hiss evil,
Then shame wouldn’t cover your eyes
And you would be saying something right.”

θέλω τί τ᾿ εἴπην, ἀλλά με κωλύει
αἴδως . . .
. . .
αἰ δ᾿ ἦχες ἔσλων ἴμερον ἢ κάλων
καὶ μή τί τ᾿ εἴπην γλῶσσ᾿ ἐκύκα κάκον,
αἴδως † κέν σε οὐκ † ἦχεν ὄππατ᾿,
ἀλλ᾿ ἔλεγες † περὶ τῶ δικαίω †

Three gargoyle sculptures: one covering its eyes, one holding its mouth, and the third covering its ears
3 Gargoyles from Paisley Abbey

Leave a Reply