Spiffy EntertainmentGreek MythologyPhotographyBack to the 80'sAbout MeLegend of ZeldaSite MapS.E. Awards ProgramAwards IndexJoke ArchiveSpiffy Entertainment ArcadeGraphicsHistory of Spiffy EntertainmentTruly Great LinksE-Mail MeGuestbook
SE Title Banner

Mythical Poetry

Here are a few poems relating to Greek mythology I think are worth showcasing. Two my Sappho of Lesbos and the famed "Leda and the Swan" by Yeats.

[Like the very gods in my sight is he]
by Sappho of Lesbos
translated by Richmond Lattimore

Like the very gods in my sight is he who
sits where he can look in your eyes, who listens
close to you, to hear the soft voice, its sweetness
murmur in love and

laughter, all for him. But it breaks my spirit;
underneath my breast all the heart is shaken.
Let me only glance where you are, the voice dies,
I can say nothing,

but my lips are stricken to silence, underneath
my skin the tenuous flame suffuses;
nothing shows in front of my eyes, my ears are
muted in thunder.

And the sweat breaks running upon me, fever
shakes my body, paler I turn than grass is;
I can feel that I have been changed, I feel that
death has come near me.

"Leda and the Swan"
by William Butler Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.

Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

[Some there are who say that the fairest thing seen]
by Sappho of Lesbos
translated by Richmond Lattimore

Some there are who say that the fairest thing seen
on the black earth is an array of horsemen;
some, men marching; some would say ships; but I say
she whom one loves best

is the loveliest. Light were the work to make this
plain to all, since she, who surpassed in beauty
all mortality, Helen, once forsaking
her lordly husband,

fled away to Troy-land across the water.
Not the thought of child nor beloved parents
was remembered, after the Queen of Cyprus
won her at first sight.

Since young brides have hearts that can be persuaded
easily, light things, palpitant to passion
as am I, remembering Anaktoria
who has gone from me

and whose lovely walk and the shining pallor
of her face I would rather see before my
eyes than Lydia's chariots in all their glory
armored for battle.

Source: Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces Expanded Edition Volume 1.

Where would you like to go next?

|Homepage| |Greek Mythology Main Page| |Site Map(Index)|

Or perhaps you'd like to read another tale from Greek mythology

|Legend of Apollo| |Tale of Arachne/The Fates| |How Zeus Came into Power| |12 Trials of Heracles| |Achilles: Legendary Warrior| |Dark Side of Greek Myth| |Myth Behind Winter & Spring| |Tale of Pandora| |Narcissus & Echo| |Apple of Discord| |Hera's Revolt Against Zeus| |Origin of the Zodiac| |Mythology of the Planets| |Aphrodite: Goddess of Beauty| |Artemis: Goddess of the Hunt| |Legend of Perseus| |Myth Behind Dreams|