Seeing Nausika

Seeing Nausika:

On the Two in Homer Said To Be Like Immortal Goddesses


Of Love: from Ages Timeless, Ever to Earth Unremembered.

Mark A. McDonald

Sight stirred remembrance of a rose,

In secret silence, shroud till death

Admiring ember–

One of many souls,

Would prove, as frost on glass, to live

by thy breath.

What that the kings of nations come,

To spill their treasures at her feet,

And ancient heroes rush as moths to flame

To seal mortality’s defeat–

That back through whence we came would move

Achian princes, great and droves;

What light awakens lover’s loves?

What sets the chimera aglow?

That even counselors of ancient Troyan race,

O’erlooking her besieged fortress,

Said “terrible the likeness of her face

Onto immortal goddesses,”

Still “let us return her from this place,”

Lest by one prince should fall

All Priam’s palaces.

But wondrous is to tread the night

In secret hope of love.

Through ways transformed in Diane’s scattered light,

Mere wooded field to sacred groves,

And there–

Where purple midnight’s dewy air awaits

Dawn nuptials with the sun–

To stand on center of the sphere,

Aprayer that Thine on earth be done.

Now silence’s harmonies to hear

Call back to oaken chambered home

And to the crimson tears

Of love from ages timeless,

Ever to earth unremembered.

Then sunrise starts dawn’s breeze,

Ere long,

Flamed colors of the sky unfold,

Waking all the field’s birds to song,

And gilding the evergreens in gold.

And as a log, faint embers bearing,

Ash entombed to hold the seed of flame,

Odysseus himself in leaves was buried,

Cast ashore the isle of Phiakians,

Then awakened to behold the Scherian princess, Nausika,

Who, in form and beauty, among maidens stood

“Like to immortal goddesses,”

Or Palm stump’s sprig once seen

Among the holy Delians,

Sight stirred to his remembrance.

Still, otherwise unmoved, the wise Athena’s friend

Hid embers kindled into silence,

Though Scheria’s sceptered king

Would make him heir to poet’s islands.

So, life newfound of hopes despaired,

Wishing her the blessings known to men,

Embarked he,

Toward his olive posted bed,

In promise never to forget her name.

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