"Sea Spell," Dante Gabrielle Rossetti, 1877, WikiArt photo.
“Sea Spell,” Dante Gabrielle Rossetti, 1877, WikiArt photo.

Part 4: Cyprus Sea Voyage

Merchant ship at Iolcos Æliana boarded,
Passenger amongst amphorae of oil and
Wine, wool bales of Œtean mountain sheep,
Destined to Mersinaki, ancient Cyprus port.
Morning sickness, rounding abdomen, wind-
Swept crashing waves, she huddled below,
Swaying lantern light, companion hooded
Older man, weathered sea traveler, his
Face concealed from sight.

“Take this child,” traveler offered, “Sickness-
Easing elixir, lessen movement of the sea.”
One gulp, Æliana placed head on bunk,
Potion blurring pliant mind. “Who are you
Sea stranger?” she asked, as all around her
Swirled. Alas! Æliana rose above cresting
Oceans, snow-clad mountain peaks, to mother
Wisdom’s welcoming arms, daughter’s blue-
Filleted celestial realm.

“Your uncle, Dolius, I am,” traveler advised,
Voice melodic trance. “Sailing home to Cyprus,
Husband battle-killed.” Tears traced Æliana’s
Face. “No! Prophetess, I am,” she returned,
“Wisdom’s first voice, my name begins with
‘Æ’.” Hand pressed upon her brow, Dolius
Whispered, “Sleep.” Babe within moving as
Little ship, all Æliana recalled dissolved
From memory’s view.

"Maria, Sister of Lazarus..." Nikolai Ge, 1864, WikiArt photo.
“Maria, Sister of Lazarus…” Nikolai Ge, 1864, WikiArt.

Next morning, Æliana awakened, Cyprus
Mountains on horizon. “Uncle, we are home
Returning, to have and raise my child.” Wind-
Stretched sails, voyage of blue sphere, Dolius,
And mother Wisdom had intervened, fates
Took star-struck course, one gods had not
Foreseen, Æliana on pilgrimage, mother
Facing wilderness crucible with nursing child
If messenger of holy prophet she would be.

Memories of her past lost to surging seas, Æliana
begins journey anew, pilgrimage with Dolius, lone
Encounters in Cypriot wilderness. What is next? 

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