"Lamia" John Waterhouse

“Lamia” John Waterhouse

What shall I tell you
fair maiden?
Shall I tell you
of the bitter truth
that all that has been
and all that will be
can be seen here
by me
in the endless expanse of your eyes
and shall I tell you
of this armor
and how it bites and pinches
and how I wish
my heart to be free of it
and how it endeavors to stay
a prison for a soul
so afraid to be alone
it chooses isolation
were I never to know
passion’s true kiss
it would be possible to close
mine eyes and imagine the days
where you and I can sit
together in the light
and speak no more of these
dark dreams
that sit coiled around my bedposts
and wait for me
to lose my battle with sleep
my heart bares so many scars
believe me when I tell you
that it is not fit to dwell
within your holy hands
which even now
have the power to touch away pain
true enough
I’d swear an oath
to whatever gods made thee
if I could but stay here
and waste away my days
in your embrace
craving neither food nor drink
subsisting on the bounty of your love
but it is not so
that this providential phenomena
the passing of two hearts
so close together
should end in our
traveling in the same direction
and though I will
climb the mountain
again and again
I am destined to stand
in the shadowed vale
and wish for
the sun

*author’s note: this is Mr. Waterhouse’s beautiful painting of Lamia and her love Lycius. This poem is not about them. Though the way they are looking at each other sparked it.  John Keat’s wrote about her as well. Her story is tragic as most interactions between the greek gods and mortals are.


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20 Responses to Lamentation…

  1. Eric says:

    As long as everything finds a way back together again! LOL! thank you, Vic. I really appreciate you being here…as always. ❤

  2. Meg Sorick says:

    Eric, I have decided that you ruin all other men for us. You may possibly need to hold a class. Good lord, my friend…. ❤ ❤ ❤

  3. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Omg!!!!! THIS!

    • Eric says:

      Oh I swear you make me smile so big!!!! YOU!!!!! 💕❤

      • thefeatheredsleep says:

        That’s one of my favorite pictures, it’s so weird you and I must have such similar taste as you always choose the pre-raphaelite pictures that I adore. I first got into Pre-Raphaelite art as a kid and I have stuck with it ever since. You are such a romantic and you bring out all the tales we loved of old and make them new. I SO hope you’ll do a book of all your poetry themed on romantic old legends I think that would be AWESOME, I for one would buy it.

  4. Wow! Poignantly beautiful and sad. You always have such an elegant and romantic way of writing.

  5. Purpleanais says:

    My heart….MY HEART! This…this is so romantic, as I see romance as in: passion and intelligence…not that gushy, sickening stuff. I’m trying to compliment you here but probably not doing a very good job of it so I’ll just say: LOVED it! ❤

  6. John W. Leys says:

    It definitely brings to mind the capital “R” Romantics like Keats and Byron. Well done.

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