"After the Bath," William-Adolphe Bourguereau, circa 1894, WikiArt photo.
“After the Bath,” William-Adolphe Bourguereau, circa 1894, WikiArt photo.

Summer sun, cool mountain meadows,
Music of brass bells as sheep graze,
Cloud watching, solitary sleep drifting,
For these warm moments, I am at peace,
Shepherdess Iola and my dog, Ekho, rest
Needed in thick grass, upon my blanket,
Sleeping, wind amongst spruce ridges.

Ekho watches our flock as I bathe, clear
Springs, melodies of rambling streams,
Soothing water, resting weary feet, for
Moments, I am comforted and clean, my
Naked body in solitude of sun-warmed
Grassy bank, glen protected whilst safe-
Guarding meandering flocks.

Tonight I wish for such comforts, as I
Take shelter from cold rain next to an
Ancient stone wall, partially broken and
Laurel-hidden, arched niche gives refuge,
Once used as shrine for gods or memory
Of dead, I fit in here snugly, marble altar,
Deep recess repels heavy deluge.

My hands placed upon gown, carved and
Draped, I sit at feet of goddess, deific
Palms on my shoulders, such magic spells,
Marble arms holding me warmly in tarry
Night, expanding mind. “My slumber you
Have interrupted, I am Kyllene, upon these
Hilltops, I once tended curly-fleece sheep.*

"Wall Decoration," Francesco Hayez, 1817, WikiArt photo.
“Wall Decoration,” Francesco Hayez, 1817, WikiArt photo.

Thunderous night, Ekho snugly at my legs
As I am to goddess, I drift to peaceful sleep,
Summer sun, mountain meadows, music of
Brass bells as sheep graze, cloud watching,
I am at peace, rest needed in verdant grass,
Upon my blanket, wind amongst spruce
Ridges in arms of goddess, Kyllene.

*”The Homeric Hymns” “XIX to Pan” with references
to Echo (as sound), Cyllene, and the line “used to
tend curly-fleeced sheep,” p.445. 

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