I gave into a subtle beating,
Wrought once by Eros’ tasked -entreating,
The winds confound I lost my heart and…
…she of black-haired, eyes, dark beauty;
warm-rosined cheeks of nature gladdened.
For Pallas' claim, -said we both were saddened.
And me a farmer, she a princess,
I of yoked-labor, while her suitors, -the best.
Doth Father-King did mantic challenge, that challenge being sought in no jest.
Accosted me the low-ly suitor,
He gave of me a challenge -the worst. He sent me to the serpent’s folly.
With dagger and heart, whirlwind passion, sought I did the guiles’ jolly.
Up the cragged wind-swept mountain, past laurel berries, trees of holly,
Into white polished marble temple to the folly of a lair-born beast.
Gave my most but just a farmer, heart of swelling beat untempered.
As he set out, devour meal thus conquered, came she the dark-haired raven beauty, with shrieks and wails doth shocked the serpent, he surprised I plunged my dagger. Serpent dead she held her finger to my lips and then did whisper;
“We of Pallas judgment true did, find our love rise from ash-field –lister.
Tell of this you will to no one, you the boy who captures fair-heart,
To father you shall be a hero, deception we of female -impart,
Cleverness you must now fashion, must fashion your will to a high art,
Something of a nature now you must know,
Like the serpent-challenge dealt your passion a blow,
Apples will not save you once and,
Once as King and you my hus-band,
We the two of Pallas’ favor, love forever shall we savor,
I the half of you shall sing, you the half shall make me King,
We together, rule forever, we of two sides brawn and clever,
No serpent ever come between us, now that we a love -Athena’s!
Go now and this be our se-cret, marry me and never re-gret, all is yours and I your egret!”
Of this I did sit and ponder, on that hill of temple, off at yonder,
Me of fields, dirt-laden squire, she at court make of me a liar,
Is her beauty, hand a console -to the surety and loss of my soul?
Run I did to the city my way, storm gates to the court and did say;
“These, the teeth of folly’s serpent and she will be my wife on this day!”
Aged now and sit here, grumble...
Kingdom of deceit into which I crumble;
Woe to me how didst I tumble?
In rush to love perhaps did stumble?
In later years now here I humble;
...love was not worth all the trouble.
Old English-style rhyming verse. The classic mythology of the man entranced-by or enslaved by the serpent and rescued by cunning, trickery or deceit on the part of the female. This tale is as old as written history.