"Soul Carried to Heaven," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, circa 1878, WikiArt photo.
“Soul Carried to Heaven,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, circa 1878, WikiArt photo.

Part 2: Sorrowed Wisdom

As decades passed, war we could not escape,
Temple destruction as Delphi. Lo! We suffered
Mortals pains, death and disease. As votaress
Of dawn, my prayers fell to earth unanswered,
In sorrowed wisdom, we faded in form and in
Domain, divine flame to our flesh and bone,
We transformed to filaments of dawn.

First lost were Ophelie and Nista, for wisdom
Could not exist in warring plight, Krista and
Lyris, tears falling, dissolved into luminescence,
Their divine essence returning to our creators.
As dark decades passed, historians claimed
We never existed, temple marble stone taken
To construct walls protecting Athens.

Once robed in light, we were without hope,
No safety to be sought, inspiring muses, pallid
And lifeless so we became, Celena returned
To crescent moon, Thyra lost to abysmal seas,
Her shore lights dimmed eternally. History to
Behold, I loved them all, blesséd voices, verses,
And oracular prophesies.

"Evening Mood," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1883, WikiArt photo.
“Evening Mood,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1883, WikiArt photo.

O! How I miss shade of cedars and sycamores,
Learning at temple steps, light of knowledge
And wisdom. We were seven, Ilissian muses,
Footnotes of antiquity, and I am only one left,
Grasping to exist, grieving at temple founda-
Tions, for I, too, am dissolving, blossoms lost
To scattering winds, to forgotten time.

Since few references to Ilissian muses exist, this poem
is historical fiction as are the names and domains of
these muses. According to Pausanias and his multi-
volume “Description of Greece,” they are “unsupported
conjecture.” However, I believe otherwise, and in this
poem, they are presented as ancient entities or minor
deities, predating nine classical muses.
Muse Chart

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