"Muse Erato at her Lyre," John William Godward, 1895, WikiArt photo.
“Muse Erato at her Lyre,” John William Godward, 1895, WikiArt photo.

Forbidden love, mortal and divine, in
Actæon curiosity, I ventured too close,
Embracing warmth of sacred flames,
My spirit proud and untamed, struggled
Breath in rarified atmosphere, dove
Ascending on eagle’s wings, rising to
Luminescent clouds, windswept and
Entwined, sight of beaming eyes, my
Feathers falling from waxen frame.

Momentary love exchanged, touches
Returned, admirations chariot-borne,
Amongst marble-columned heights,
Which one of us first withdrew? Lo!
I recall touching fingertips, flesh to
Pale Alabaster, lightning flashed above
Greek mountaintops, without your
Love, my body splayed, soul laid bare,
O! Desolate desert tracts.

Patient metamorphosed maid, for now,
I embrace cold, carvéd stone, until in
Trembling delight, warm blood flows.
We contemplate each other on this
Starlit night, both beach standing at
Edges of tide and time, Atlantic Ocean
And Ægean Seas, one finite, one in Attic
Antiquity, of these verses and Homeric
Hymns, lyrical strains I sing to thee.

Written in spirit of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.”
To whom is this poem written?
For more on Actæon, see this link.

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