“Seashells,” Albert Joseph Moore, WikiArt photo.

Parent’s plight, adolescent daughter, Evania,
Taken in marriage, not enslaved by battle
Conquering generals, but one of Attic armies,
Man by us admired, given in loyal obedience
To calloused soldier of our age, coin for villa
And farmland, sun-growing olive groves, all
Sold, abandoned. Lo! Bright-beaming child,
Evania was too young to understand demands
Of husbandry, motherhood, she preferred lone-
Wandering seashores, shell, pebble collecting,
Rambling conversations with sea-mist spirits.

Yes, soon we realized Evania was whimsical
Child, dark hair and eyes, sun-burnished olive
Skin, busy with hands, rambling conversation
With herself, preoccupied with the intangible:
Glimpse of moving lights, perceived in eye-
Corners, by flickering candlelight, spirits
Wandering sea-shores, aimless, lost, disease
Or battle-killed. First we learned of this, when
Evania said to her they spoke, warnings of
Armed strangers approaching, foreign sailing
Ships, sounds sending our dogs barking in fields.

Day of wedding, maiden child, Evania, knew
Not meaning, implications, afraid since her
First bleeding, deflowering of unwitting bride,
Ceremony of flowers, laurels, frankincense,
Burning, fresh fruit, figs and watered-wine.
Midmight Evania unbraided her dark hair, robe
To feet falling, all things womanly revealed,
Timid hands never touched spouting bough.
Fair flesh she was to him, more oxen than
Loving man plowing fertile fields.  Yet, for
Such passions, Evania was unprepared, tiled
Floor she collapsed, breathless-pale.

Lo! Evania’s protecting spirits ushered forth.
“Prepare elixir to toast your marriage and
Wedding night.” Thus, general’s physician
Formulated draft, herbs from bottles smoky-
Dark he blended, Evania’s sea-mist spirits
Intervened, wine-red concoction pungent-
Fuming, arousing male desires. “Let him
Have his way,” spirits confided. “Take one
Sip, pour bit on your bedsheets.” Heartily
General drank, wrestled Evania on her bed,
Wheezing once, he dropped dead, by red-
Sheets, their marriage consecrated.

“Seagulls,” Albert Joseph Moore, 1871, WikiArt.

Bright-beaming child, Evania grieving widow
Of dead general she became, his wealth she
inherited, owner of her Attic family farm,
Sun-growing olive groves. Yes, she understood
Demands of husbandry, stout bough of man,
Deeds all believed performed on wedding
Night. For Evania life changed and remained
Same, grieving widow, wandering desolate
Seashores, collecting shells, wave-washed
Pebbles, rambling conversations with guiding
Sea-mist spirits, secrets never shared.

Poem of protection and turn-of-fate, Evania’s mist-sea spirits saved farm and family from ruin. In Greek mythology, Akhlys personified death-mist of dying person’s eyes. Her domain may also have been poisons. For more on Akhlys, see this link:

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