"Head of an Old Man," Guercino, WikiArt photo.
“Head of an Old Man,” Guercino, WikiArt photo.

Part 9: Dolius, Ender of Wars

At guarded camp of Thracian general, harsh
Reproach Dolius received. “Why should I give
You audience, prophet?” Dolius bowed and
Responded. “When your daughter’s breath in
Wheezing ceased, you prayed to gods to save
Her. Did not great tree-moving winds restore
Her breath? General nodded. “Only my wife
And I know of this miracle. Who are you
Prophet?” “I am The Ender of Wars,” Dolius
Replied. “Enemy triremes sail to these shores.”

Prophet of gods of wind, sun, and sky, Dolius
Divine orders gave, hundred bronze shields
Forge-melted, reshaped to bright-polished
Mirrors of parabolic curve. Sun-worshiping
Prophet, war-ending wisdom of celestial fires,
Life-sustaining divine light equally destroys.
Mirror-armed soldiers upon sea clifftops high,
Colossal focused fiery heat, sunrays harnessed
Set enemy ships ablaze, floating funeral pyres,
None escaped death’s fiery atmosphere.

O! Dolius, Ender of Wars! Thracian general
Understood not your prophetic words, ender
Not preventer nor provocateur, savior of rustic
Life, Rhete and her shepherd clans health and
Happiness protected, their flocks mountain
Grazing, ancient forests unscathed, villages
Saved by redeeming sunlight. Trees felled for
Enemy triremes were naught, sails and rigging
Given to all devouring flames, ship hulls to
Waterline burned, sea-sunken ruins.

"Pythagoreans Celebrate Sunrise," Fyodor Bronnikov, 1868, Wikipedia photo.
“Pythagoreans Celebrate Sunrise,” Fyodor Bronnikov, 1868, Wikipedia photo.

Witnessing wrath at Dolius’ ingenious hand,
Rhete wept for she understood why her
Mentor prayed to dawning light, powerful
Sun, benevolent earth-warming, dormant
Seeds-sprouting, crops growing, harvests,
Life providing, crucible of divine strength,
Fire-glazed destruction. War-ending Dolius
Stood face-to-face with generals, of equal
Footing, except Rhete realized her priest,
Kind-teaching Dolius was no mortal man.

Some historical basis exists from Greek antiquity for
parabolic mirrors imparting burning flames on approaching
ships. See this link for “Archimedes and the Burning Mirrors.”
Next is Part 10. 

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