Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SAPPHO, by JOHN BANISTER TABB

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SAPPHO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A light upon the headland, flaming far
Last Line: We quench the spark a smouldering hope supplies.
Alternate Author Name(s): Father Tabb
Subject(s): Sappho (610-580 B.c.)

ALIGHT upon the headland, flaming far,
We see thee o'er the widening waves of time,
Impassioned as a palpitating star,
Big with prophetic destiny sublime:
A momentary flash -- a burst of song --
Then silence, and a withering blank of pain.
We wait, alas! in tedious vigils long,
The meteor-gleam that cometh not again!
Our eyes are heavy, and our visage wan:
Our breath -- a phantom of the darkness -- glides
Ghostlike to swell the dismal caravan
Of shadows, where thy lingering splendor hides,
Till, with our tears and ineffectual sighs,
We quench the spark a smouldering hope supplies.

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