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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
-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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