This is a fragment of a Greek poem written by Sapphos who lived circa 680 – 570 bc. She was thought to be one of the greatest lyric poets. Most of her poems have only survived in fragments.

Ἄστερες μὲν ἀμφὶ κάλαν σελάνναν - (Ásteres mén amfí kálan selánnan) - Greek Children's Songs - Greece - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Transliteration from Google:

Ásteres mén amfí kálan selánnan

Ásteres mén amfí kálan selánnan
áps apykrýptoisi fáennon eídos,
óppota plíthoisa málista lámpi
gán [epí pásan]
... argyría ...

Other Translations:

The stars about the fair moon
In their turn hide their bright face
When she at about her full
Lights up all earth with silver.

-Henry Thorton Wharton (1846 - 1895)


The stars about the lovely moon
Fade back and vanish very soon,
When, round and full, her silver face
Swims into sight, and lights all space.

-Edwin Arnold (1869)


The Moon and the Stars
Around the full moon's silver face,
When brightest it doth beam,
And when its orb is all ablaze,
The stars conceal their gleam.

- The Lyric Songs of the Greeks by Walter Petersen (1918)


The stars about the full moon
Lose their bright beauty
When she, almost full,
Illumines all earth with silver.

-Edwin Marion Cox (1925)

More about The Fair Moon poem here



Read by Pier.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

1st translation by Lisa Yannucci.

Many thanks to Stephanie Batzer for sharing her lovely watercolor painting of the moon with us! You can see more of her paintings on her Instagram Page.