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‘The Caldron of Her Indignation’
The Aeneid of Virgil, Book 1, Part 2
Greece slew Troy, will of Her mind
Sprouted seeds of secret envy
Still rooted in Her hate
Who a ravisher left behind
*
The grace bestowed on a ravished bed
Kindled vengeance in Her mind
A bitter curse driven to Latin lands
Before her wrath the Trojan bands
*
Seven years to wander
Storm-haunted, toil-strained
Time, His toll for ages
Forging the Roman strain
*
By sail, by oar
Seeking a Sickle-island [0] shore
Pulling, chanting, sailing on the sea
Under skies laced with Her hate
*
Fuming against the men sailing for Italy?
Fortune and Thunder cast their bolts
Woe struck Trojans, conquering Greeks
Both fleets doomed under Heaven [1]
*
She, enlisted Thunder to reap men
Tossed, whirled and whipped by the Deep
Like an eagle gripping a snake a people
She sought like a chained god to break
*
The Goddess, sister-wife of Thunderer [2]
Raged yet and ever after
Against the survivors of ruined Troy
Where nations now to Her on altars pray
*
In rage and fury she sought the throne
Where Wind sits girded in stone
His power envied and ready
Tempests latent in deepest dark
*
For the captive winds she sends
Seeking storm unpenned
World shaking with their howling rage
To sweep creation clean for Heaven’s queen
*
The power of winds to rage
Was feared even by Thunderer [4]
He locked them in dark abysses
Under a binding king
*
Here came Heaven’s cruel queen
To beg the King of Wind
To unleash His power
In service to Her ire and hate
*
She pleads a race of hated slaves adrift
Were sailing the Tuscan sea for Italy
That he might split the night skies
Sink or disperse her human enemies
*
“Fourteen darling winds attend me” [5]
The Goddess declared,
The fairest, Deiopeia, was offered
To King Wind to father a godly line
*
King Wind pledges service to Her
In exchange for the fairest wind
That storm should serve the jealousy
Of the mother of fruitful cities
*
King Wind’s spear is oath cast
Piercing a mountain stone
Winds howl from of the wound
To dance above and tramp below
*
Seas rose and fell as watery mountains
Exposing the sea floor pounding ashore
Ship ropes crack and sailors cry
Under a suddenly terrible sky
*
Cataclysm gushes tears from heaven
The poles roar thunder into the world
Fire somehow finds a place between
Striving bands of men fall prey to all
End 2
Notes:
-0. Sicily
-1. Seems to this reader to echo the Bronze Age Collapse of Middle Sea civilizations as couched in natural disasters, afflicting civilized and barbarian antagonists
-2. Hera and Zeus or Juno and Jove [Jupiter], representing the feminine civilizations conquered by and joined to the nomad warbands circa 2000 B.C.
-3. Traditionally related as the Goddess ranting, here adapted in narrative reflection
-4. Father of the gods, the premier sky god, classically Zeus
-5. Many of the individual winds were minor goddesses, described as the hand maidens of the queen of heaven.
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