"Psyche," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1894, WikiArt photo.
“Psyche,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1894, WikiArt photo.

Her soul to Artemis ascended, Ede given
To grief-alieving hands, insights as Plato*
Wrote: Nature first creative power, the soul
Primeval element, beyond fire and air, older
Than body, thus futurity was foretold, such
Designs lofted to higher gods, rekindling
Gentle dryad, creation of their own.

On protective wings to higher light Ede flew,
Altar of celestial love, metamorphéd spirit,
Fears quelled of barbarous acts, dominion
Given over Thracian glens and mountain
Spruces, worthy duties, prayers and songs
Of praise, safety in holy heights, Ede reborn
As Thia, dryad of deific “Sunlight Sent.”

From ancient cedars Thia’s form wrested,
Pain of rebirth, Artemis new life breathed,
Springs and rocky streams in delight welling,
From grottoes, female nymphs stepped forth,
Pale innocence bathed in divine sunlight,
Temple of Artemis their sanctuary of safety,
Beyond reach perilous plights of mortal men.

Amongst reeds and rocks Thia and sprites
Sang incantations to Artemis, returning her
To cedar groves and spruces, branch-girded
Phalanx. O! Windswept melodies, new growth
Abounding on blesséd hillsides, no memories
Of her dark past, promises of enduring love
And life within marble-temple sight.

"Landscape with Apollo and Muses," Claude Lorrain, 1652, WikiArt photo.
“Landscape with Apollo and Muses,” Claude Lorrain, 1652, WikiArt photo.

Legends of antique lands, such efforts gods
Took to right wrongs committed to trees and
Dryad, Thia and nymphs were absorbed into
Divine light, Artemis’ temple was time-lost,
Overgrown with laurels, sacred mysteries of
Immortal maid and secret realms, where
Protected Thracian mountain forests grow.

* Adapted from Plato’s Laws, Book 10 (892c):
“Because those who use the term mean to say that
nature is the first creative power; but if the soul
turns out to be the primeval element, and not fire
or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other
things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and
this would be true if you proved that the soul is
older than the body, but not otherwise.”
— Translation by Benjamin Jowett 

This is a companion poem to No. 583, “Dryad Ede.”

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