Saturday, 6 January 2018

Ode to a beautiful woman

Today we stick to Sapphic stanzas with this poem by Sappho from P.Oxy. 1231 fr. 14, a papyrus discussed in the transcriptions post. The completion is essentially by Edmonds, with one or perhaps more minor tweaks by me. The tweak I have in mind is that I didn't double the nu in φύν' in l. 6, a doubling that made no sense to me because there were no metrical requirements for it and I had no other justifications for it. Oh, and that I avoided the synaeresis (or should I say something like synekphonesis?) of ἔμοι and οὐ in l'6 by putting an elision in its place. That was probably why I originally had Μοι τότ' οὐ φύν' there, but really, an enclitic at line start is not pretty. Another reason may have been to avoid the doubled tau in τόττ', another unjustified doubling, just like ὄττα. But I couldn't avoid the latter without discarding the completion. I even adopted the reading ἔρωτος ἤλγει instead of ἔρωτος ἤδη to have a complete phrase there, a choice apparently justified by doubtful readings in the papyrus. The last stanzas is completed by me. The translations are in the usual meters. Let's go!


. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . ]ἔ̣ρωτος ἤλ̣γ̣[ει
. . . . .

ὄττα γάρ κ’ ἐνάν]τ̣ιον εἰσίδω σ[ε,
Τόττ’ ἔμ' οὐ φύν’ Ἐ]ρμιόνα τεαύ[τα
φαίνεται,] ξάνθᾳ δ’ Ἐλένᾳ σ’ ἐΐσ̣[κ]ην
[οὖδεν ἄει]κες,

[αἰ θέ]μ̣ις θνάταις· τόδε δ’ ἴ̣σ̣[θι]· τᾷ σᾷ
[καλλόνᾳ] παίσᾱν κέ μ̣ε τᾶν μερίμνᾱν
[ταὶς θυή]λ̣αις ἀντιδ[όναι, πό]θοις δὲ̣
[παῖσί σε τίην·

’Ᾱχέροντος δ’ ἐς δροσόεν]τ̣ας ὄχθοις
[κὰθ θανοίσας βᾶν κε σέθεν, σέθεν] τ’ αἶν’
[αὔξετ’ ὤς μοι ἔστι τε, παν]νυχίσ̣[δ]ην
[σύν τέ σ’ ἔρημαι].


[–u–x–uu–u–x
–u–x–uu–u–x
–u–x–u] soffr[ì] d’amore
[–uu–x

Se] t[i] miro͜ [innan]zi, [allor mi pare
Ch’E]rmïone͜ a te non si͜a stata pa[re],
Te͜ alla bionda Elena si[mi]l fare
[Giust]o [cred’io,

Se]͜ una donna [p]uò; sap[pi] questo, cara:
Colla tu͜a [bellezza] i͜o ripag[ara]
D’ogne cura [’l du]olo, [risposta dara
A͜ ogni di]sìo.

[D’Acheronte͜ alla rugi͜ad]osa costa
[Morta te andre͜i, tra le dive [posta
Ti farò com’ so, presso a me te posta
Vo’ tut]ta no[t]te.
[–u–x–uu–u–x
–u–x–uu–u–x
–u–x–u] ămōrĕ pās[ā’st
–uu–x

Nāmquĕ] t[ē mē ān]tĕ vĭdēns, [tĭbīmĕt
Nōn vĭdētŭr Hē]rmĭŏnē quĭdēm pār,
Sīmĭlēm blōndǣqu’ Hĕlĕnǣ t’h[ăbē]rĕ
[Nīl mĭhĭ tūr]pĕ,

[Sī f]ăs ēst mōrtālĭbŭ’; sc[ī]quĕ hōccĕ:
[Bēllĭtātī] tu͞a [săc]răm ōmn’ ăg[ām] me͞am
Pœ̄năm, āc [dēs]īdĕrĭīs quĭdēm [tē
Ōmnĭbŭs ōptō;

Rōrĕ plē]nās [ādqu’ Ăchĕrōntĭ’] rīpās
[Mōrtŭā t’ īrēmquĕ, tŭāmquĕ] fāmăm
Crēscăm ūt lĭcēt, hĭŏ] nō[c]tĕ [cūnc]tā
[Tē prŏp’ hăbērĕ].


[–u–x–uu–u–x
–u–x–uu–u–x
–u–x–uu] suffer[ed] love
[–uu–x

[When] I see y[ou] standing [bef]ore me, dear,
[Then I think He]rmïone [was not] near
[To you], and to Helen the blonde thee near
Pla[ci]ng [seems right,

If] to mortals [gra]nted; and kn[ow] you this:
Any [sacr]ifice, for your [beauty’s bliss]
I woul[d pay] of grief, [yours is any wi]sh
[That have I might.

To the river Acheron’s dew]y shores
[If you died I’d go, and to you] fame[’s doors
As I can I’ll op’n, a whole] ni[g]ht [indoors
With you I crave].

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