"Sweet Dreams," John William Godward, 1901, WikiArt.
“Sweet Dreams,” John William Godward, 1901, WikiArt.

Reflections of mountain founts, sunlight
Filtering through deep forest canopies,
Sudden gust of wind, branches waving,
Motion of life, eye-startling glint, touching
Soul, I stood transfixed, pain of realization,
Ancient voice, inaudible to my ears, yet
Mind-resounding, my heart stirred aloud.

Stone-transformed mist appeared, rising
From fruitless air, approaching, bodied form
Assuming, garments of waters running free,
Golden fillets hair bound, goddess emerging,
Curvéd bow and lyre, keen-eyed arrowed strife,
Enlightening holy groves, Kybele, goddess of
Lions wild, chariot wings, she beckoned me.

Rustic maiden, unable to speak was I, aside
To acknowledge, entering ethereal car, swept
From woody groves into light divine, unfixed
From earth, my heart overthrown, by horse-
Stream we braved radiant sunlit vapors, deific-
Might bronze sword flowing, lioness stampede
On thunder-stormed skies.

Shuddering now as I recall, far-shooting god-
Dess above billowing heights, fast I clung to
Sweeping gowns, metamorphosed face and
Being, her handmaiden I became, breast mist-
Stirred, forehead split heaven-wide, on dawning
Beams we strove, words unspoken yet felt, by
Kybele’s love my mortal flesh burned.

Heart vanquished, I felt swallowed by the sea,
Laconian coastline, we descended to ancient
City-states, exposed to Kybele-passions, tears of
Rapture shed, we lofted on soaring wings. Lo! To
Mountain founts I fell, awakened at rocky streams,
Hair and soul torn asunder, woman ravished and
Forlorn, earth-bound cast, all this but dreamt.

For more on Kybele and her origastic mountain rites, see this link.
Written in the spirit of Ovid’s “The Metamorphoses.”

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