"Young Shepherdess," Willam-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1868, WikiArt.
“Young Shepherdess,” Willam-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1868, WikiArt.

Part 10: Divinity Self-Denied

Smoke clearing from burned invading ships,
Strained silence reigned between Rhete and
Dolius, for she longed return to shepherdess,
Ekho at her side, moving melodies of sheep
Bells, flowered mountain meadows. Her first
Vision of sky-streaking meteors sent Dolius
Into action, mirrored machinations, focused
Sunlight killing thousand soldiers, hundred
Ships of sail destroyed. Yet, Rhete and Dolius
Were destiny-bound, face and eyes sun-
Burnished, deific fiery crucible adjoined.

“What do you desire?” Dolius asked, his tone
Understanding. “For my life to be as it once
Was, living in innocence, free from burdens
Of healing and prophetic sight,” replied
Rhete, haunted power of Dolius’ combined
Mirrors, ships ablaze. “Would you consider
Long rest, month amongst temple flocks?”
“My parents back, everything as it was,”
Rhete stated. “In morn, when you awaken,
All will be restored,” Dolius advised.

O! Rhete what sins committed, to turn back
Time, blessings and gifts given, benefit of
Mankind, divinity self-denied. As surmised,
Dolius is not mortal man, living deity to protect,
Ending wars imposed by generals of hostile
Lands, quests for rule or treasury gold, ten-
Thousand die, revenge for wrongs affronted
Decades past, when offender and offended live
No more. For noble cause, Dolius was Ender
Of Wars, healer-prophetess Rhete would be.

"After the Bath," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1894, WikiArt photo.
“After the Bath,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1894, WikiArt.

Campfire burning on meadows sweet, Rhete
Drifted off to sleep, Ekho at her side, Dolius
Disappeared. When she awakened, all restored:
Parents, sheep, Rhete remembered nothing.
In privacy, she bathed, rustic rites, prayers
Casting flowers into rambling streams, pro-
Tection of family and flocks, sun beaming on
Hillside spruces, misty human form appeared
As in previous times, reflecting light, blinding
Eyes, deific voice mind-echoing, “Follow me.”

Thus, poetic story of Rhete and Dolius begins anew, third
iteration occurring upon ethereal skies, from “Divine Awakening” in
Part 1 to “Divinity Self-Denied” in Part 10, two souls, vine-entwined,
10 plot-connected poems in 11 days. O! Blesséd muse, what is next?
Thanks for reading.

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