“Classical Beauty,” John William Godward, 1892, WikiArt.

Winter-frozen forest, predawn hike on frosty trails,
Rambling stream my senses sought, water flowing
Beneath ice clear, steady movement eluded night-
Congealing. First rising sun, light-limned treetops,
Rising mist took shape, elemental birth discerned:
Fire, earth, air, concordant spheres, figure breeze
Receding, reached for me. Life-yearning, coalescing
In sunlight, she stated. “To ancient times, I belonged,”
Arms extended, cold pallid-pale.

“Before upheaval, all earth was to me attuned,” she
Began, words mind-spoken. “From flowering fields
To temple steps, worshiped and revered. O! Eternal
Spring, zodiacs disclosed, sunlit key I turned, light,
Warmth released, fertile earth, life bursting forth.
Alas! Great mating of deific heart and voice to fleshy
Womb. “How should I call thee, Mother?” asked I,
For all related, I had visions seen, mercurial form,
Transformed to living, breathing stone.

“I am blossoming buds, milk-heavy breasts, ever-
Burgeoning seed, blood-pulsing sacrificial lamb.”
Overwhelmed, I backwards stepped, or by doors
Open thrown, pushed to knees, I know not which.
“I am maiden Kore, forest returned.” Hair sunlight
Streaming, winter forest to summer glade became,
Stone altar in her honour, offerings awaiting. What
Of myself to give? Rising morn, to goddess best
Beloved, filet unbraided from my hair, flowers
Entwined placed upon Kore’s altar stone.

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