She, with her wings clipped in shackles Sees the light above the high altar Through the dusk of leaves and boughs Beneath the dome of boundless skies Without spires and stained glass within.
But why else when nature has it all Sermons in trees, brooks, and skies? From the haunt of life’s vicissitudes rests herself under the pillars of trees As the choristers of hummingbirds begin The hymns of hope in nature’s cathedral.
A poor young girl’s on the run for her life
From a dungeon in chains in tears in fright,
Hounds on her heels, horses spurred with might
Chasing after the witch on the run for her life.
Then she stopped at a village miles away
And sought a refuge in the name of charity
To save her poor soul in calumny of foul play
By which she would be burn at stake and die away.
Thereafter on a hill atop the village for ever,
The girl is seen – but not heard in daylight,
The girl is heard – but not seen at night
On a hill atop the village that had a murder
On its conscience, for no one goes there – Never.
All about her beggared all description,
For she was none other than herself
Femininity incarnate vested in erudition
That no other woman could ever excel.
Her beauty was a perfect federation of
Sensuality and Intelligence dazzlingly
Pleasingly enchanting all in the contact
With the Last Hellenistic Queen of the Nile.
One day, she rode in a gilded barge with sails
Dressed as Venus with her entourage as cupids
And nymphs to meet a Roman general who was
Marc Anthony with untamed virility like Hercules.
For her own person as Venus, the goddess of love
And beauty, she bewitched the general and made
Him her slave of love with all her charms spelled
With the most delightful voice he had ever heard.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Last night, I read an anecdote of how Cleopatra encountered Marc Anthony for the first time as described by Plutarch in The Lives. The most interesting thing I learned about the proverbially seductive queen was that she was not exactly a gorgeous woman with a face that would launch a thousand ships. Rather it was her demonstration of all-around erudition, intelligence of speaking a variety of languages in such an euphonious voice, and her general demeanor, all of which curiously made her enchanting to anyone in contact with her.
This irresistible charm of Cleopatra corresponds to the principles of aestheticism expounded by Thomas Aquinas, which are: (1) Element of being – her existence as a woman; (2) Actuality of Form – her presence as a woman achieved a higher level of perfection in its form by being beautiful to the degree in which she perfectly attended to the form of femininity; and (3) Actuality of Action – the manifestation of her intelligence contributed to the perfection of her beauty as regards the aforesaid principles by grounding beauty in whatever she did, thus making her being a beautiful person.
I think Cleopatra was more beautiful and real femme fatale than Helen of Troy, who was said to have a face that launched a thousand ships. It seems to me that Cleopatra’s attractiveness will be no less appealing to the eyes of the modern men than those of the ancient men.
The Optical Reflection of Matters – as my eyes have seen,
The Mechanical building of Reality – as my mind has done,
The Physical Existence of the World – as my body has lived;
That it’s not real but virtual by a concoction of Optical Illusion
Thwarts every thread of truth against Truth, the Reality of Things
Spelling a concatenation of Physical Existence in their Pristine Essences
Because what I have seen and see is not what it has been and it is
As the trickery of eyes knows not its shenanigans that becomes
Bold and bolder ever till Light of Intellect dawns on me with rains
Of benevolence on the parched earth of my Ignorance with Truth.