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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Sappho. (search)
arns how to strike the harp with the plectron, Sappho's invention; Mnasidica embroiders a sacred rob said Strabo, writing a little before our era, Sappho, a wondrous creature; for we know not any womanor Euripides, why should his successors spare Sappho? Therefore the reckless comic authors of th only a pretty fable. He took up the tale of Sappho, conjured up a certain Phaon, with whom she mieucadian leap could not purge. Finally, since Sappho was a heathen, a theologian was found at last l, for instance, says of it: The tenderness of Sappho, whose character has been rescued, by one of twas this Lesbian school that assembled around Sappho? Mure pronounces it to have been a school of and appealed to Sappho, who thus replied:-- Sappho's solution. A letter is a thing essentiallyt it seems rather a pity that this memorial of Sappho should be preserved, while her solemn hymns andess or of dame. It is of little consequence; Sappho doubtless had lovers, and one of them may as w[54 more...]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Sappho's riddle. (search)
Sappho's riddle. There is a feminine creature who bears in her bosom a voiceless brood; yet they send forth a clear voice, over sea and land, to whatsoever mortals they will; the absent hear it; so do the deaf. This is the riddle, as recorded by Antiphanes, and preserved by Athenaeus. It appears that somebody tried to guess it. The feminine creature, he thought, was the state. The brood must be the orators, to be sure, whose voices reached beyond the seas, as far as Asia and Thrace, ane. The brood must be the orators, to be sure, whose voices reached beyond the seas, as far as Asia and Thrace, and brought back thence something to their own advantage; while the community sat dumb and deaf amid their railings. This seemed plausible, but somebody else objected to the solution; for who ever knew an orator to be silent, he said, until he was put down by force? All of which sounds quite American and modern. But he gave it up, at last, and appealed to Sappho, who thus replied:--
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Sappho's solution. (search)
Sappho's solution. A letter is a thing essentially feminine in its character. It bears a brood in its bosom named the alphabet. They are voiceless, yet speak to whom they will; and if any man shall stand next to him who reads, will he not hear?
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XI (search)
is not so difficult as one might suppose. It often takes a great while to determine the comparative merit of authors,— indeed, the newspapers are just now saying that the late Mr. Tupper had a larger income from the sales of his works than Browning, Tennyson, and Lowell jointly received,—but it does not take so long to determine which among an author's works are the best; and it is probable that the Descent of Neptune in the Iliad, and the Vision of Helen in the Agamemnon of Aeschylus, and Sappho's famous ode, and the Birds of Aristophanes, and the Hylas of Theocritus, and the Sparrow of Catullus, and the De Arte Poetica of Horace were early recognized as being the same distinct masterpieces that we now find them. It is the tradition that an empress wept when Virgil recited his Tu Marcellus eris; and it still remains the one passage in the Aeneid that calls tears to the eye. After all, contemporary criticism is less trivial than we think. Philosophers, says Novalis, are the eternal
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 33. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Returning Confederate flags. (search)
elp to teach the lessons of reverence for the devotion and sacrifice of our Southern men and women. Several of these ensigns were captured from the cavalry arm of our service. These men have waited patiently for forty years before having ample justice done to their heroism and valor. The English historians are telling the story of their deeds and giving them full credit for their sacrifices. From the frozen shores of the Baltic to the Isles of Greece. The Isles of Greece—where burning Sappho loved and sung. All Europe is delighting to honor their chivalric souls and measure their manhood by those of her heroic slain. Scotland names them with those who fell at Bannockburn; England recognizes them in the spirit of Balaklava; and France counts them worthy to descend to posterity with those of her own Imperial Guard. The best made and preserved flag here belongs to the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues. On it is inscribed the battles through which that splendid command passed. Th
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 4. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Personal Poems (search)
life-long losses gain, And made her own her sisters' pain; Or her who, in her greenwood shade, Heard the sharp call that Freedom made, And, answering, struck from Sappho's lyre Of love the Tyrtaean carmen's fire: Or that young girl,—Domremy's maid Revived a nobler cause to aid,— Shaking from warning finger-tips The doom of her apore in answer to an invitation to hear a lecture of Mary Grew, of Philadelphia, before the Boston Radical Club. The reference in the last stanza is to an essay on Sappho by T. W. Higginson, read at the club the preceding month. with wisdom far beyond her years, And graver than her wondering peers, So strong, so mild, combining st! And hear her graceful hostess tell The silver-voiced oracle Who lately through her parlors spoke As through Dodona's sacred oak, A wiser truth than any told By Sappho's lips of ruddy gold,— The way to make the world anew, Is just to grow—as Mary Grew! 1871. Sumner. I am not one who has disgraced beauty of sentiment b
to fifth tells us of the hapless Zameia, whom Meles had wooed and won, and then heartlessly deserted. Zameia leaves her home to seek her faithless lover, and learns of his mysterious death as the bridegroom of Egla. In the sixth and last canto we again find Egla in her acacia grove, and here in the solitude of the soft twilight, longing for the presence of Zophiel, she sings that song which Southey quotes with such delight in The Doctor, claiming that it is not only equal but superior to Sappho's famous Ode to Aphrodite. Day in melting purple dying, Blossoms all around me sighing, Fragrance from the lilies straying, Zephyr with my ringlets playing, Ye but waken my distress! I am sick of loneliness. Thou to whom I love to hearken, Come ere night around me darken, Though thy softness but deceive me, Say thou'rt true, and I'll believe thee. Veil, if ill, thy soul's intent: Let me think it innocent! Save thy toiling, spare thy treasure: All I ask is friendship's pleasure: Let the s
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