“Andromeda,” John R. S. Stanhope, WikiArt.

Part 2: Seduction of Kardelen

Deeds performed, too ashamed to confess,
Lo! I, Kardelen, followed Parthenope to her
Lair, circular tholos temple, columns open
To breezy sun, inner naos chamber, goddess
Resided, before me set fruit, fish, honeyed
Bread, watered wine, deep-cushioned bed,
Rest and recovery. Older then and now, of
This I am ashamed, with beating wings, shape
And strength of archer’s shields, melancholy
Strains she sang, shimmering female form,
We bathed in secluded streams, potent draught
I sipped, within angelic arms seduced.

O! Such licentious dreams, beyond love of
Mortals and gods, subservient-lover I became,
Memories blurred lustrous eyes loathing
For lover’s agate amulet, talons scratching
At my throat, sacred stone repelling more
Base advances. Alas! I awakened chained
And shackled upon mighty rock, scattered
Bones encircled, flesh stripped clean, skulls
Eyes hallow, teeth warnings chattered,
Remnants of talon shredded gowns and
Clothes, and much to my dismay, rings,
Jewelry, coins, in piles glittering collected.

For my life I pleaded, “What is it you desire?”
“Body and soul,” Parthenope replied. “Mine to
Enslave, enjoy and set free, wing-clipped girl
Flight fighting.” I nodded. “If you agree, power
Of your mistress you must know, your amulet
Freely release.” Thus, I turned my head, neck
And breasts vulnerable and exposed, with
Sharp talon snipped, my life saved but for what?
Soon I realized: tortured, sans food or rest,
I wept and tore my hair, in anguish I watched,
Dozens like me lost to ocean depths, double
Victim I became of sirens songs so sweet.

“Sleeping Venus,” Paul Delvaux, 1944, WikiArt.

How I despised myself, cowering beneath
Parthenope’s buffeting wings. Better pile of
Sun-bleached bones, tendons tasty to her
Tongue than storm-wrecked upon feathered
Bed, legs and arms splayed for licentious
Pleasures, penetration of flesh-tearing beak,
By Scaléd feet so pinioned. Again, pungent
Draught Dark Angel poured, elixir of poppy,
Exotic herbs, one taste to sleep I fell or to
Dreams so mesmerized, unable to move or
Scream, I tried repeatedly to no avail. Alas!
In sleep, my body was imprisoned.

Seduced and shackled by Parthenope, Kardelen discovers bones and jewels
of the siren-goddess’ past lovers. How will she escape angelic arms, drugged imprisonment? Thanks for reading.  

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