Back in the winter of 570 BC or thereabouts, on the island of Lesbos, an elderly Greek woman wrote:
Δέδυκε μεν ἀ σελάννα
καὶ Πληΐαδες, μέσαι δὲ
νύκτες πάρα δ᾽ ἔρχετ᾽ ὤρα,
ἔγω δὲ μόνα κατεύδω.
Which has been translated as (one of the many translations):
The Moon has left the sky,
Lost is the Pleiads’ light;
It is midnight,
And time slips by,
But on my couch alone I lie.
(Translated by J.A. Symonds, 1883)
The old woman’s name was Sappho and she’s mostly famous for her love poetry – in consequence of which her island gave its name to the lesbians.
Unfortunately, Sappho’s poetry only survives in fragments; this little gem above is Fragment 48, occasionally referred to as the Midnight Poem.
You might also like: ⇒ Astronomers Crack the Secret of This Gorgeous Poem by Sappho: a highly enjoyable article about this poem, some astronomers (and some other poets who mentioned the Pleiades)! ⇒ Para hispanohablantes: versiones españoles de la Poema de medionoche de Safo y algo sobre Safo y astronomía