You, when your body, life shall leave


Melinda on an insipped Beauty. In immitation of a fragment of Sapho's.

Primary Text:

MS Folger, 27*.
You, when your body, life shall leave
Must drop entire, into the grave;
Unheeded, unregarded lie,
And all of you together, die;
Must hide that fleeting charm, that face in dust,
Or to some painted cloth, the slighted Image trust.
Whilst my famed works, shall through all times surprise,
My polished thoughts, my bright ideas rise,
And to new men be known, still talking to your eyes.

(MS Folger, p. 27)

Secondary Ed:

1903 Reynold prints Folger text, 122; rpts of 1903 Reynolds: 1930 Fausset, 59; 1979 Rogers AF, 89.


1696 "La vie de Sapho", Les Poesies d'Anacreon et de Sapho, Lefevre [later Dacier], 405-8.


Rpt of 1713/1903: 1974 Bernikow, 83.


This fits in with the mood and message of "Ardelia's Answer;" the last two lines are among the most vivid Finch ever wrote. It needs to be studied in the context of presentations and attituudes towards Sappho in the period; this particular text has been translated many times and Finch's can be profitably compared with those of other women from the time of the Renaissance until today. I think it was written around the same time as the extant "Me, dear Ephelia, me, in vain you court.
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Page Last Updated 7 January 2003