"Spring Breeze," William-Adolphe Bourguereau, 1895, WikiArt photo.
“Spring Breeze,” William-Adolphe Bourguereau, 1895, WikiArt photo.

Sunlit shimmering waters, woodland spring
Attracted Anysia, daughter of Thracian
Mountain tribes, reflections touching eye
And spirit, living waters welling in human
Form, mercurial hands reaching. Captivated,
She became one with watery light, spring-
Immersed, young life taken, another given,
Anysia, maiden of ageless sorrows.

Like her tribal clan, Anysia took to hillsides
Alone, lost to spruces and thistle, she knew
Not herself, reason or why, yet for those she
Met in grief and pain, liquid eyes allayed pain
Of heart and soul, merciful tears healing injured
And infirm. Some reckoned her forest darkling,
Mind enchanted, beauty’s sweet bloom, twixt
Human and divine, blesséd stream-sprite.

Alas! Anysia had no sisters, no gathering in
Lily pad-adorned pools, preferring rocky-brook
Melodies, verdant sanctuary tree-branch covered,
Sunlight waving, dazzling as she bathed, hair
water-falling, personification of streams, rustic
Lays recited. Gazing upon her modest form was
Shunned, for in mourning laves, Anysia, bare
Of breast, released her vanquished sorrows.

O! Innocent child, Anysia, into captivity fell,
Warring tribes, love’s healing gifts perverted,
Shackles and chains, arms and legs splayed
On oxen cart, forced to fighting fields, healing
Wounds on command, pain unbearable, sword-
Gashed flesh, shattered bone, her watery soul
Anguished, enslaved by tormenting pains,
Grieving in sunlit springs denied.

"Forest Before Storm," Ivan Shishkin, 1872, WikiArt photo.
“Forest Before Storm,” Ivan Shishkin, 1872, WikiArt photo.

Gods in wisdomed strength, scudding storm
Clouds, thunder and lighting, torrents poured,
Tribe cursed forcing pains on young Anysia,
Dark waves descended, living waters surging
In soldiering form, by mercurial hands warring
Clans were drowned. Lost to abuses profane,
Anysia gave herself to waves, frail spirit chain-
Freed, her being merged with watery light.

Imagine poem-lore such as this recited at Greek camp
and hearth fires to fill evenings, entertaining adolescents
and adults, meaning and interpretation different for
young minds, thought-pondering adults.  

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