Listen, fair maidens, the soul is but a tenant
In the bones and coursing blood;
The flesh does not house the soul,
Nor is the soul made whole
By any messenger of Love.
My case is no different–
(Tho my rooms be well-appointed.)
My Eros, my fabled fate–
Quiver and bow on his back
Wingéd poster boy of amorous pain!
So pale and flaccid
Overfed on his mother’s vain milk
To think, as she did, t’would be my end
To marry an ugly man –
A coarse brute with rough hands,
Fit for spade and plough,
But with a serene mind and tho,
His heart would n’er be full of love,
He would not scorn the pace
Of passing seasons on my face,
But would find me ever more Psyche
In my own garden where I dwelt in peace
That Love and Soul make one
Let me disabuse you! My soul is my own.
Let me tell you a story –
Fearing my betrothal to a monster
Wishing to secure a proper match,
My mother sought the oracle,
Who said it was foreseen by the Fates
That I would meet this beast
Upon the craggy mountain top
And that would be the end of poor Psyche
Not so, maidens. Not so.
It came to pass that Zephyr, my sister
Bore me away on her kindly wind
To a meadow of soft grass, where a great forest rose
At the Western border
And Eros called me to a fine castle
Where the rooms within were all empty
And all mine.
And none contained a single mirror.
Yet the sunlight on the floor,
Gentle kisses of the West wind,
And the rustling in the trees
Sufficed for me.
(Besides, if given the choice,
Eros always did prefer boys.)
And as for his plotting mother–
Jealous Contessa of bones and blood and pus…
Well, Eros and I
We kept our little secret
Between the two of us.