Because the night has swallowed the moon,
in the glare of its milk-white teeth,
the moon-daughter waits in shadow,
in the tangled mane of a weeping birch.
Is it her song that stirs the leaves,
or is it the fingers of the wind,
lunar servants, silken
reminders of silver rays?
She steps out with blind eyes,
shivering, testing her footing on
each mossy root and rock ledge,
until she finds the place in her memory,
further on and up, into a clearing
fringed with lingon-berry leaves,
where the last few star-flowers cling
to the edge of a sandstone cliff,
where she holds a twilight vigil, waiting
for the midnight sun to fade into moonlight.
A dreamless sleep falls from the shimmering leaves. --Sappho fragment, tr. Andrew Bellon I changed, thickened, ...
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