On what is best

sappho_comp

On what is best

Some celebrate the beauty
of knights, or infantry, 
or billowing flotillas
at battle on the sea.
Warfare has its glory, 
but I place far above
these military splendors
the one thing that you love.

For proof of this contention
examine history: 
we all remember Helen, 
who left her family, 
her child, and royal husband, 
to take a stranger’s hand: 
her beauty had no equal, 
but bowed to love’s command.

As love then is the power
that none can disobey, 
so too my thoughts must follow
my darling far away: 
the sparkle of her laughter
would give me greater joy
than all the bronze-clad heroes 

/ by Sappho /
 
***

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