Μήτ’ ἔμοι μέλι μήτε μέλισσα·
OH, not the honey, nor the bee !
Yet who can drain the flowers
As I ? Less mad, Persephone
Spoiled the Sicilian bowers
Than I for scent and splendour rove
The rosy oleander grove,
Or lost in myrtle nook unveil
Thoughts that make Aphrodite pale.
Honey nor bee ! the tingling quest
Must that too be denied ?
Deep in thy bosom I would rest,
O golden blossom wide !
O poppy-wreath, O violet-crown,
I fling your fiery circlets down ;
The joys o'er which bees murmur deep
Your Sappho's senses may not steep.
Honey ! clear, soothing, nectarous, sweet,
On which my heart would feed,
Give me, O Love, the golden meat,
And stay my life's long greed—
The food in which the gods delight
That glistens tempting in my sight!
Phaon, thy lips withhold from me
The bliss of honey and of bee.