Saturday, 10 February 2018

The moon has set

From sunset to moonset, today we look at a short poem by Sappho, a quote from Hephaestio's Handbook on Meters starting with "The moon has set". This is Bergk 58, Edmonds 111, Campbell 168B, Lobel-Page curiously doesn't have it. Translated presumably in summer/fall/early winter 2010, the text presents no controversies except for a psilosis on ὥρα which is only absent in Bergk, the meter is x–uu–u–x, rendered in Italian and English as u–uu–u–u with alternating rhymes. I also want to advertise the IMO real nice Edmonds translation, which is in tetrasyllabics with rhymes ABCABC. Let's go!

Δέδυκε μὲν ἀ σελάννα
καὶ Πληίαδες· μέσαι δὲ
νύκτες, παρὰ δ’ ἔρχετ’ ὤρα·
ἔγω δὲ μόνα κατεύδω.

La luna è tramontata,
Le Pleiadi pure;͜ e mezza
La notte s’è già volata;
Son sola͜ e non ho dolcezza.
Nūnc ōccĭdĭt īllă lūnă
Ēt Plēĭădēsquĕ; nōxquĕ
Mēdi͞ast, ĕt ăbīvĭt hōră;
Āc sōlă iăce͞o ĕg’ īpsă.

The moon has alrè͞ady set,
The Pleiadès too; the night
Is half-gone away; in bed
Alone my sadnèss I fight.

The moon has set,
The Pleiads too,
Midnight is nigh;
Time passes on
And passes, yet
Alone I lie.

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