"Hesperus, Evening Star," Edward Burne-Jones, 1870, WikiArt photo.
“Hesperus, Evening Star,” Edward Burne-Jones, 1870, WikiArt photo.

Part 5: Thousand Endless Ages

My essence thin amongst windswept clouds,
I ascended  ethereal light, between life and
Death, songs of silver moon, orbing planets,
By Ancient Sylvae, I was neither forgotten nor
Forsaken me, sidereal Ekho by my side, we
Streamed in crystal atmosphere, beyond cedar
Groves. As earth epochs rose and fell, I yearned
For sunlit mountain meadows, grazing sheep,
Oneness with all I was and knew.

As if memories belonged to another, painful
Past faded, Sylvae granted life anew, rustic
Shepherdess or temple priestess, to worship
Gods as heart decreed, earth ages separated
From war, famine, and disease. Shepherdess
And divine messenger I became, hymns and
Songs sipped from sacred streams, where at
Their fountainhead, Ancient Sylvae first
Invited: “Come drink from us.”

Chorus:
O! Iolanthe, maiden-child of shepherd clans,
Return to warmth of flowered meadows, shelter
Of mountaintop dominion, deathless constancy,
Sunlit celestial dome, infinite views with margins
Near, life without need or want, winding paths,
Music of grazing sheep occupying days, pilgrims
Seeking god-provided messages, evening meals
And prayers round campfires, faithful hearts
Resting from spiritual climbs.

For days, I took mountain paths, Ekho exploring,
Pilgrims greeted, lyrical verses conveyed, hymns
And prayers along our winding route. Upon high
Peaks, I reached dome of liquid transparent sky,
Touching ripples made. Alas! Realization struck,
My life and world were divine magic spell, days
Decade-divided, shepherdess kept as wandering
Lamb. Without oil, lamps burned; same melodies
Of sheep bells forever played.

"Flora," John William Waterhouse, 1860, WikiArt.
“Flora,” John William Waterhouse, 1860, WikiArt.

Thus was my existence amongst green pastures,
No wants at quiet streams. Lo! Upon limitless
Years, my decision made, to make prison of
Paradise or paradise of prison, for they were
Each the same, to accept dome of liquid sky or
To cast myself into deep pools, my soul and body
Floating free. Such strength I did not possess.
Thus, here I have existed, thousand endless
Ages with Ekho at my side.

In last stanza, there are references to Psalm 23 and
to John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Can you find them? 
This is the last poem of this series. 

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