Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hymn to Pallas

I sing now of the gray-eyed Goddess and Her love for the virgin Pallas.
Together grew these maidens, strong and lovely on the shores of Lake Triton.
Devoted to each other, long were their games of love and battle.
Under the olive groves they embraced, finding delight in the idleness of youth.
In fields of barley they played the war game with wooden spears, tunics tearing.
In jest Athena rolled upon Her back as Pallas raised her sharpened stick.
In paternal panic Zeus thrust the aegis between the sparring girls.
The spear glanced from the terrible gorgon gaze of the aegis wounding Pallas.
She fell into Athena's white arms, bloody and swooning.
The corpse of Pallas grew cold in the Goddess's embrace.
Athena, young and radiant, wailed to the heavens bemoaning the loss of Her lover.
She took up a piece of olive wood from their love bower and with great skill
fashioned a likeness of fair Pallas from the rough timber.
Athena draped Her aegis over the image, keeping it safe and sacred.
She took the name of Her playmate and added it to Her own.
So evermore when poets speak of Pallas they speak not of the nymph but of the Goddess.
Such is the love of ever-near Athena for those who honor Her.
So are we wrapped in the aegis of Her protection.
So are our crafts devotions to Her supreme skill.
Athena, may I always be protected under your aegis.
May I speak with wisdom and listen with the steadfastness of olive wood.
May I sing of your glory now and always.

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