"Hylas and the Nymphs," John William Waterhouse, 1896, Manchester Art Gallery, Wikipedia photo.
“Hylas and the Nymphs,” John William Waterhouse, 1896, Manchester Art Gallery, Wikipedia photo.

Daughters of a lesser god, Cosmé and her sisters
Danced where nature flourished along Aegean
Shores and ancient forests, their secret dwelling-
Place. Robed in regal radiance, they flew amongst
Wave-breaching dolphins, to clouds beyond the sky.
During summer evenings, Cosmé and her siblings
Bathed in flowered wildwood pools, secluded
Innocence, renewing gentle, healing strengths.

Of dewy hair and slender form, Nereids oft
Concealed themselves from mortal eyes, except
As shimmering lights, a flowing vapour visible
By pale full moonlight and Venus’ amorous glow.
Upon alabaster beaches white, they danced and
Sang, in despair and mirth, to melodies of ocean
Surf, soothed embrace for nimble-wingéd sprites.

To protect her sisters during their lilied bath,
Cosmé cast alluring spells against a stranger’s
Trespass. Unwitting travelers were subject to
Confounding touches of her delicate hands and
Mesmerizing depths of liquid eyes, fierce magic
No shield or sword could deflect. For victims of
Her bare-breasted charms, their road and path
Were lost, daft ramblings uttered across stony-
Thistled heights.

For these ocean Nereids, merriment and charms
Were not their intended lot as they possessed
Secret powers, relieving mortal strife. Cosmé
Performed sacred duties divine: pacifying hate
For love, alleviating illness for health, and
Placating death for longing life. In tearful song,
Sister nymphs gleamed spirited lights for
Unfortunates, the trampled and the scorned.

With brooding tears, they awakened healing
Love and heartening joys: warmth of rising
Ocean sun, spirit-soothing sea breezes, merciful
Muses of sister nymphs perched on window
Ledges. Celestial dancer, gossamer wings and
Diaphanous robes, Cosmé hovered near,
Whispered blessings for needful ears, young
And old, healing feebled limbs and aging hearts,
Restoring despondent souls.

Over forgotten ages past, Cosmé and her sisters
Were beholding the death’s beckoning call. While
Immortal, they transformed to Nature’s august
Forms, ocean whirlpools, seafaring clouds, and
Transparent sea-lights. Retained by their creators,
They found new purpose, reappearing in fleeting
Female form. Sparkling bright in the corner of
Knowing mariner’s eye, Cosmé and her troupe
Dance to ethereal melodies of life and love, their
Sacred duties redefined.

Written while listening to “Brian Boru’s March” by Loreena McKennitt.

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