"In the Temple," Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1871, WikiArt.
“In the Temple,” Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1871, WikiArt.

Part 2: Pained Realization

Humbled at sight of mountain temple, Rhete
Took to bended knee, low clouds revealing,
Obscuring gleaming entablature, massive
Bronze doors, dark-robed figure awaiting on
Marble steps. Familiar fragrance of spruces
Urged Rhete to approach agéd sage, Dolius,
Grey hair and beard. At his holy presence
Bowed again, forehead touching steps, crying
Inconsolably at his feet, her heart broken,
Young soul lost to rapture and to reason.

“Child, what bothers you so?” Dolius asked,
Coaxing her to stand, eyes briefly meeting.
“Father, by light I have been touched. By
Voices I was beckoned, by shimmering mist.”
“Blessings some would say,” he responded,
His tone understanding, patient. “Pain, father,
Overwhelming joyous pain of awakening,
Realization.” Thus she explained, tear wiping,
Breath gasping, unexpected and unprepared,
Touched by divine, two words: “Follow me.”

O! Innocent, unlearnéd child, no homeward
Turn of eyes, maiden Rhete arose reborn from
Mountain pools, naked body, dark hair water-
Dripping, passions welling breast-deep, divine
Voices heeded, weight upon mortal frame,
Journey through entangled laurels and spruces,
Narrow pathways, following in faith, companion
Ekho by her side. Soul touched by gods, panicked
Uncertainty, full-knowing metamorphosis, each
Step leading from earthly gloom to heights divine.

"Classical Beauty," John William Godward, 1909, WikiArt.
“Classical Beauty,” John William Godward, 1909, WikiArt.

As with youth, Rhete took rocky hold, strength
Of Heart and soul, Dolius pain assuaging, temple
Doors welcoming, gladness heart-filled. Yet as
Reminder, wound of transfiguration lingered
In her soul, eyes and face radiant, misty self-
Light Rhete was yet to see, novitiate awaiting
Training, scriptural lessons, language, sacred
Texts in reading rooms and niches, thoughts
Divine hidden in recesses of young maiden’s
Mind and memory, pained realization.

Next is Part 3…

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