The Black Rite

Then the goddess steps up on it –
Disc of night, the lamp of dreamers –
As the steeds with hooves of onyx
Take to flight with sweet Selene.

‘Draws she near to bold Orion
Hoping, thus, to soothe his temper.
Points to one, the oldest Satyr,
He the muses loved to ride on.

‘“Bold Orion, please concede
That Crotus, here, who lived and breathed,
Stands there now with arrows poised
To guard your captivated form.

‘“See, as well, the scales of justice,
Those with which the Lord Anubis
Weighed the mass of souls departed,
Measured who should meet Osiris.

“Know thee not the queen of starlight
Calls to time: ‘Stand still, be halted’?
So shall she perform the black rite;
Bring to life the king through deep night?

‘Now Apollo speaks: “Your wisdom
Shines upon a hidden meaning;
You have placed him here with reason
On the font of deeper dreaming!

‘“Might he not recall the last life
When the stars by which you’ve bound him,
Shone upon Egyptian Pharaohs,
Helped them walk the sacred night, free?

‘Then discern the gods, goddesses
That the one so named, ‘Orion,’
Calls to mind his ancient history,
Sees the wheels of time that move on.

‘‘Here’s the truth.’ He thinks in silence:
‘Now I comprehend my story.
Memories of the tears of Isis
Come and thus reveal my glory.

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