To Adonis

Amanda Aremisia Forrester

I sing my song for Adonis
Beautiful Lord, son of the fragrant Myrrha
Born from the trunk of a tree
The tusks of a wild boar His nurse-maid
Even as a babe His shocking beauty enchanted the love-Goddess
And Aphrodite fell under His spell
The charming child was given to Persephone, Underworld Queen
Hidden in a trunk for safe-keeping
But as the Fates would have it
Persephone opened the chest
And She, too, fell for the child
Refusing to give Him up when the time came
Fiercely the Goddesses warred
For possession of the comely boy
It took Great Zeus to separate Them
And even He shuddered in His heart
At the fierceness of Their battle.
Zeus declared
That when Adonis had grown to manhood
Adonis would spend a third of the year with Aphrodite
A third below the earth with Persephone
And the remaining time He could spend however He wished
O Beautiful Adonis,
Would that such a happy arrangement
Could have endured!
For indeed Your life was ended as it began:
On the tusks of a wild boar.
Poor Aphrodite wept great tears for You, Adonis
Her tears flowing together with Your blood into the earth
Which fed the blood-red petals
Of the first anemone.
Short-lived Adonis, Aphrodite remembers You.
Dying God, I, too, will remember, and sing another song in Your name.

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