A GRECIAN ODE
Liriope, raped by the God Cepharus, laid her babe in a cave,
That of Tiresius, half blind prophetic Sage of Ancient Greece.
A wise Stoic soothsayer, and farsighted necromancer grave.
The predestined fate of every human kind he clearly sees.
The aged Sage scrutinised this fair, fine feisty child
Gazing deeply into his sky blue eyes, serenely calm and mild.
“This lad shall live a happy life, unless he comes to see his face!”
The awesome decree scared Liriope who fled, like some creature wild.
She swore no mirrored glass would ever invade her household space!
The sturdy lad grew swiftly to shine as a handsome model youth,
Strong armed, spirited, carefree, honest, loyal to all known truth.
Rings of curls, forthright chin, noble nose, ruby lips, eyes of grace;
He was chased by sultry shepherd maids, and also ardent men,
Wanting warm friendship with this bewitching beauty, for then
Now at the tender age of sweet sixteen, he’d never seen his face!
Many a swarthy swain and shepherd lass vied for his amorous art;
But beneath his tender calf-like skin lay a hidden pride so hard,
For no one on this Earth who’d tried, had ever touched his heart.
While herding deer into their pens, as some huntsman’s guard,
A mountain nymph with strangest voice saw him rambling in a field;
She could never hold her peace, if she heard any voice she’d yield
To the sudden urge to answer, when that same voice spoke again.
She repeated the last words, she’d overheard and instantly revealed,
That to this tiresome fault she was afflicted, to her everlasting shame.
For Goddess Hera cursed her for seducing Zeus, a plan conceived
To trap the God. Hera shrieked “by you I’ve been betrayed, deceived,
With harsh punishment, for such wicked ways, I’ll, you surely tame!
Only the very briefest use of speech shall you ever now enjoy!”
But poor Echo had seen Narcissus, a true Adonis, a golden boy;
She planned to have this boy, her toy, and enjoy a mating game.
Young Narcissus was unaware of his charisma, to allure,
But Echo planned to snare the lad through her sweet desiring gaze;
He’d never seen his ravishing face, so fair, his mind was pure;
Fate now staged her dramatic game which promised great heroic days.
When Echo spied her wondrous ‘wunderkind’ wandering through the land,
His golden locks waving, mid red poppies and amber fields of corn,
Her smouldering heart caught fire, flickering flames were quickly fanned,
She stalked him with unceasing stealth, utterly fatigued and worn.
The nearer she approached the fiercer burnt her ardent flame;
Oh how she craved; she called “hello”, to start her playful game.
The youth had lost track of the deer herds prints, amongst the golden grain;
He called “Is any one there?”, then love sick Echo answered back the same.
He looked around and shouted “please come!” and “please come!” she echoed again.
He could see nobody there and called “why run away from me?”
Then he heard his voice return to him, pitched in a much higher key;
He cried “please let’s meet”; “please let’s meet”, her answer came so plain.
She swiftly rushed from the dark pine wood to take him in her arms,
He fled, and cried “stop! whoever touches me will come to harm!
I’ll never grant you such power!” weeping she echoed this refrain.
Spurned, Echo lurks in the gloomy forest shade, hiding all her shame;
She cries and pines in her cave, her heart aches with pain and grief,
Sleepless worry swiftly wastes away her anxious ridden frame,
No voices linger on, and her spirit’s slain by sorrow’s thief.
He’d mocked her as he’d mocked many lustful maid and ardent youth.
That night one scorned lad cursed in pain from a huntsman’s booth
“So may he fall in love too, and whom he loves may fail to gain!”
The Gods heard his plea and ordained this would manifest as truth.
Narcissus retired to a woodland pool where no human ever came;
The fresh water was cool, silvery, still, and chrystal mirror clear;
Tired from herding roving deer he sat down to rest right here,
Falling asleep he dreamed he needed drink , and woke up again.
Feeling parched he took a sip to slake his thirst with water cool,
Then his gaze was struck by an awesome sight in the centre of the pool,
A face beyond all beauty, he fell in love, a love which has no name.
Echo, her body wasted, remained a voice to haunt our world,
Narcissus lies, seduced by his own reflection in a pool.
Now this comic play will swiftly be enacted and unfurled,
To fall in love with one’s own face, is the hallmark of a fool!
He studied well that face of perfect beauty with awe, amazed!
‘Twas like some statue of a noble God, carved in marble white,
Its sparkling sapphire eyes twinkled like stars; at all he gazed.
‘Twas wondrous, blushing cheek mingling with tingling skin, so bright,
Now blinking, then winking, its neck stood firm on a well built chest.
Had any thinking man, born by nature, ever been so blest?
Like Apollo, there glowed glory from this most glamorous face.
He admired, suspired, adored, desired…..how , now to see the rest?
He turned his neck so slightly, shifting from his comfy place,
To his great surprise, the young god turned very slightly too.
He pursed his ruby lips to kiss the face, to love him, and to woo,
His passion quickened, his palpitating heart began to race,
He stared again, the awesome god had pursed his lips as well!
Suddenly, insight dawned clearly through his mind like a chiming bell,
That face he loved, must be his very own! Oh! such astounding grace.
Neither food, duty, rest nor sleep could tempt him from this spot,
He yearned with hungry lustful eyes that could never have their fill,
He burned with love for his own treasured face, fanning passion hot,
Then suddenly arose a fear that queerly made him feel quite ill;
He could never enjoy being the lover of some portrait in a pool.
Grief came, it sadly sapped his frame, as if he’d stamped a mile,
He’d be denied the object of his love, how ruthless, oh how cruel!
The Gods would make him sorely suffer as if he was on trial,
To die! to die for his beloved! Was this to be his dismal fate?
His anxious nerves were knocked askew, he tasted bitter bile.
Then he saw a greybeard, an ancient sage, come limping up his way,
Very old and bent, half blind, who it was he couldn’t say.
“I am Tiresius, I’ve come to help you boy, so rest with me a while.”
The Gods had intervened to save Narcissus from an aweful fate,
The Seer who foretold, “if you see your face, you’ll meet your death,”
Had arrived in the very razor’s edge of time before too late,
He’d come to aid this suicidal lad, to save his soul and breath.
“So you’re identified with your face, a picture in a pool,
That’s a bad mistake my lad, I shall try to tell you why,
If you think that;s who you truly are, you’re simply just a fool!
Real Truth is better, wake up from delusion, before you come to die!
You think you’re that body-mind, and Narcissus is its name,
A handsome boy, the girls adore, but that’s a pitiful shame.
Now gaze at me attentively, and tell me what you see.”
“I see your face, a grizzly, old greybeard, a body, halt and lame.”
“Do you see your own face now, or just that ageing head called ‘me’?”
“Only one face is there Tiresius, of course I can’t see mine.”
“Good, let’s pause at that Narcissus, you’re doing rather fine.
Now ask ‘who sees?’ aren’t you looking out from space and vacancy,
From a one eyed window without a frame, Consciousness of course;
That is who you truly are, pure Consciousness perforce!
Now listen well, and question more, I’ll surely set you free!”
“The notion ‘I’m just that body-lump is folly of the fool,
To know ‘I’m Consciousness playing Narcissus’, that’s wise!
You’re glued to that image, your face reflected in a pool.
That’s untrue, a mistaken fancy, a deceptive pack of lies;
To be free and live your life from the Reality of Truth
You must know what you’re looking out of lad, forsooth!
Narcissus realised he wasn’t that handsome image in the pool,
To fall deeply in love with his own lovely, handsome pretty face
Was the action of a silly stupid, gormless gullible fool,
Tiresius had taught him the Truth, oh such an act of Grace!