Hylas and the Water Nymphs John Williams Waterhouse 1896

Borne aloft
upon the topaz fields
of the ocean
on Argo’s swift wings
under the burning gaze
of proud Jason
sailors thrown against
the heart of fear
forging ever further
into madness
as the song of Beautiful Orpheus
played above the heads of Sirens
and spared them
a watery sepulcher
to evade such arcane entrapment
in the final moment
before the curtain is closed
that it should be
that most basic of human needs
which falls above hunger
the culprit
to slake their powerful thirst
wrought upon their throats
by the sea air
did young Hylas
carry his ewer to the pool so blue
but his pulchritude did not avail
his quest
dipping the mouth of his vessel
into the calm and clear water
summoned the spirits there
and they
having never seen such beauty
approached to gaze upon his
handsome face
and as he plucked his pitcher
from the rippling mirror
and set it upon the downy grass
he turned to see
a nymph rise upon
the hyaline surface
the wind lay still
and not a creature of the earth
save She
and amid the soft tinkling of the
water droplets returning to her sacred pool
she reached for him
and he
focused on the soft gentle nature of her face
leaned closer
to endure the cool caress of her hand
against his fetching cheek
and did not resist
her pink and warm lips upon his
and n’er did they come to find
Sweet Hylas upon the verdant shore
nay, only his upset decanter
devoid of the water
so richly needed
a high price to pay
for a collection
of golden threads

About Eric

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35 Responses to Hylas…

  1. you did an amazing job with this piece, wow. I feel like i am there in the pic. Marvelous

  2. maharedwynn says:

    Wow, so beautiful. It feels ancient and sacred.

  3. Wow. This reads beautifully… love that I could ‘see’ it. ♥

  4. Gorgeous. Very visual and perfect with the painting. ❤️

  5. Rita says:

    Amazed. I truly wonder at times where this comes from. This ability you have to see the epic so clearly and then transcribe it for we mere mortals.

  6. mandibelle16 says:

    Beautiful poetry as always. Enjoyed this one in epic fashion.

  7. Eric says:

    Thank you, Love! ♡ 🙂

  8. augustmacgregor says:

    A fantastic painting, and I can’t see how any man would be able to resist the temptation of such lovely water nymphs. Your poem reads like a Romantic painting, weaving the story of the myth. I didn’t know about the myth of Hylas, so thanks for educating us.

    • Eric says:

      Hey August! Thanks! I read some mythology sometimes when I’m bored and it struck me that it would be good to write about him..and when I found that painting I knew I had to!

  9. I completely agree with Rita. I think you should pursue a compilation of works – I would have loved to have had a discussion over your works in Lit History or American Lit. The depth and breadth you stretch us and with such perspective. Love!

  10. Waterhouse is one of my favorite artists. I adore his paintings and you did a beautiful job with this one. ❤ #mast

  11. moonskittles says:

    The ocean is here with every wave of your words, and I am hushed to listen to the voices..

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