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Song of the Rose by Sappho


"Song of the Rose" is a poem written by Sappho. This poem is about the beauty of roses. It talks about how the lighthits it, the wind blows on it, and how lovers "sit in the glow unaware". She states that the rose was created by Zeus to bring up the world and cause happiness and love.

This poem is made up of one stanza with thirteen lines.


Song of the Rose

For Zeus chose us a King of the flowers in his mirth,
He would call to the rose, and would royally crown it;
For the rose, ho, the rose! is the grace of the earth,
Is the light of the plants that are growing upon it!
For the rose, ho, the rose! is the eye of the flowers,
Is the blush of the meadows that feel themselves fair,
Is the lightning of beauty that strikes through the bowers
On pale lovers that sit in the glow unaware.
Ho, the rose breathes of love! ho, the rose lifts the cup
To the red lips of Cypris invoked for a guest!
Ho, the rose having curled its sweet leaves for the world
Takes delight in the motion its petals keep up,
As they laugh to the wind as it laughs from the west.

Translated by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1893

Next: To Evening
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Literary Movement
7th Century B.C.

Beauty, Nature

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