Sleeping oracle, Œnone was shepherdess
Nearly drowned, life-flame smoldering,
Consciousness suspended between earth
And æthered realms, questions received
From needful pilgrims to knowing ears of
Blesséd gods. Sacred voice, Œnone was
Pallid maiden, limp form, all pleasures
Fate-denied at her death and arousal.
How do I know this? I am her twin sister,
Elmene, who watched in horror as Œnone
Disappeared in mountain rapids, swept
Upon rocks and fallen trees, found lifeless on
Sunlit sandy bank. To gods I prayed, her life
Restored, to hear her voice again, whether
Blessing or curse, in chanting enkoimesis
She remained, reposed at marble shrine.
So entranced my other self, Œnone is now
My child, to dress, bathe, to feed, mixture
Of honeyed-milk, body defilement purged,
Questions raised, answers given, vessel
Stretched and pulled from celestial heights,
Ascending purple skies to divine light,
Presence of conclaved gods, she moves
Few fingers, fluttering half-opened eyes.
Visiting sister Œnone, prayerful pilgrimage
To holy mountaintop is required, hymns of
Praise, lute and lyre, early morning torch-
Light processions. Ask not selfish questions
Of wealth or gold; pose questions regarding
Earthly duties, necessities of soul, futurity
Foretold. Kneeling humbly at Œnone’s feet
Is accepted as prostration to immortal gods.