Melitta, Why Such Doleful Eyes?bySapphos Sister©
[Sappho, the poetess, discovers an affection between her lover Phaon and her young maid Melitta, which her bitter jealousy self-destructively lures into full consciousness. Only when she has debased her humanity does she admit to her disloyalty to the gods, which she has incurred in abandoning her lyre. Seeking for Phaon and Melitta the blessing of the gods, and for herself forgiveness, she plunges to her death into the sea.]
Melitta, why such doleful eyes?
Has Sappho set aside her lyre
And stilled her songs that sweetly rise
In honeyed, lovelorn harmonies
To summon us like swarming bees?
Perhaps my sister’s scalding tongue
Was tested by your scant attire
Which veiling one, slim-hipped and young,
Has drawn her darling Phaon’s gaze
As she once did in distant days.
Or did her lover come to you
And did his searching eyes enquire
Within your own if your heart too
Was tortured by those mad delights
That only guilty love ignites?
Melitta, dry young Phaon's tears,
Your mistress and the gods conspire
To end her dream, her jealous fears,
As all who’ve loved her sadly start
To mourn dear Sappho’s vanquished heart.