Let us entrust entirely to the gods

Thanks to a chance enquiry about Greek writing on papyrus, two previously lost poems by Sappho have been uncovered. Oxford's Dr Obbink has shared his findings and the texts online, and they're raising a stir.

Metafilter user Bromius quickly provided a rough translation (have a read of the thread – there's already another translation and some great conversation about their choices):

[Several missing stanzas]

But you always prattle on that Charazon is coming
With a full ship: Zeus, I think,
And all the gods know this, and you
Must not think about it.

You must, rather, send me off and order me
To pray many things to Queen Hera:
That Charazon, sailing his boat
Arrive here

And find us safe and sound. The rest
Let us entrust entirely to the gods:
For fair weather can arise suddenly
From a great storm:

Those for whom the King of Olympus
Wishes a spirit as a helper with troubles,
They become happy
And greatly blessed.

And if Larichos ever lifted his head
And became a man,
He would free us, too,
From very great despair.

Undoubtedly translations are being worked up all over the internet. Please add a link in the comments if you find one you like.

Vincent's Version of Sappho

A version of the last Sappho discovery a few years ago appeared in Vincent's Blame Vermeer in 2007.

Version of Sappho

Make the most of it while you can,
my girls- of what the Muses give you,
the splendid fashions they pass on,
the lyre in your hands this moment.
I've a different story. The old always have.
This hair - of course it was black.
My heart wasn't always this despondent.
I once danced with the best of them,
'like a fawn', as we say. Now just standing's
the problem!
                           Here's a moral for you.
Dawn with her famously lovely arms
once carried off Tithonus - should you want
the man's name - to the ends of the earth.
Once there she figured he was hers for good.
That's how handsome she thought him, how
he caught her breath. And yet age, oh yes,
age took even him, the same age
that cripples me. And what if the woman
who loved him, who carried him off,
was immortal? As if it matters, in the end.
He is still dead, Tithonus.

from Blame Vermeer, Victoria University Press, 2007.

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