Youthful Desire Is Naught But A Pyre


Of love bittersweet
Inexorable defeat
Of fathers’ denial
Desires’ own trial
Of two lovers lacking in foresight
Who couldn’t wait even a fortnight
Of lioness who did their flight end
Thought ‘twas only cloth she did herself rend
– Oh halcyon Muses nine –
For your version I simply haven’t the time
There are so many ways for a tale to be dressed
Do you change to make them impressed?
Over and over their story you tell
Should people not know of this one as well?
So let me now sing and to all you impart
How those two did form each other depart

Dr. Zeus – Book II – Canto XII

Be it nature or nurture we must ourselves be
From that one chain we’ll never be free

As it should be – for if ever we were
We could not exist – of this I am sure

Thus the horrid are horrid, the gentle are kind
As by our actions we are defined

Hence why those who with love are infected
Are often in action a bit misdirected

For the young and the rash are so simply caught
Practically praying to by Cupid be shot

There are two mortals who exemplify well
This simple message of which I now tell

Pyramus and Thisbe did in Babylon live
And to one other did their hearts give

But despite, or because, their neighbourly status
Their fathers did hate – malice gave gratis

So though they knew how their children did feel
They never would let them explore their love real

In fact they were from all contact banned
For if they were ‘lowed, escape they’d have planned

For their fathers, though asses, remembered well youth
And knew emotion and hope seemed to say sooth

And it seemed in the end they were not wrong at all
As soon was proven by a crack in the wall

For their houses adjoined upon one another
And that little fault they’d have yet to discover

By chance Pyramus as he did lie and lament
Heard Thisbe cry that her heart had been rent

He ventured response and they then discovered
That they could talk and still stay uncovered

This new little secret did them console
That that they kept between them and the hole

But alas in love we always want more
And thus in time this connection did bore

It became nothing but a painful reminder
That the Joy of marriage; they never would find her

Thus together they did wallow in grief
They’d get no relief – it was their belief

But as they mourned themselves day after day
They slowly did realize they could just run away

And thus did prove that their fathers were right
Though it might not have happened if not for grip tight

So using their secret hole in the wall
They discussed how they would flee from it all

They knew that they’d meet at a mulberry tree
By the tomb of Ninus – there they’d be free

But that was it – that was all!
No other details had they to recall

To where would they run? they did not truly know
They thought love would save them, wherever they go

They knew not even at what time of day
Together they’d leave – so excited were they

For they were, in truth, both children still
And thus they must a child’s roll fill

They had not the age, the wisdom of year
To see their own folly – though it was clear

So off one day those two did slink
Without provisions – they just didn’t think!

Thisbe was the first to arrive
For of freedom at night they did her deprive

As at that time the men are…“brusk
So she arrived closer to dusk

But that is the time when predator’s stalk
Though youth, ‘gainst caution, does ever balk

And as she did wait, awaiting love’s thrill
A lioness did wander over the hill

Seeing it there, mouth covered in gore
She ran for a cave, leaving the shawl that she wore

But the creature had already been sated
So by prey young and weak she wasn’t then baited

But despite its great size a cat’s still a cat
And fluttering cloth, well, they do love that

So with vim and vigor, exuberant glee
It played with her shawl by the mulberry tree

And soon she had torn it to shreds
Blood staining it all of the reds

But the lioness soon grew bored of her game
And thus wandered off, just as it came

‘Though ‘fore Thisbe came out of her hiding
Pyramus, excited, came up the hill striding

But once he was there his face did fall
For stuck on that tree he did see her shawl

And as to assumption youth always does leap
From running wild he could not his mind keep

‘Though there was no body nor blood on the grass
He thought for sure he’d lost his young lass

So deep in despair – his mind resolute
He sat with the shawl at the mulberry root

To make sure she was dead, he did not even check
He drew out his dagger and then ‘cross his neck

His arterial spray shot up to the sky
As he gurgled and sputtered but didn’t yet die

But as this folly he did then commit
Thisbe came out – for she’d waited a bit

And looking around she didn’t then see
Ninus’s tomb or the mulberry tree

She had not know the length of her flight
It had been lost in her desperate fright

So she wandered along hoping to find
The tree or the tomb she had left behind

Soon she saw branches cresting a hill
But with fruit the wrong colour – she must wander still

Although – was that Pyramus’s arm?
Did he too run from that harm?

But as she approached she saw him more clear
And her horror grew the more she drew near

It was the right tree she did see at last
The berrys were coloured by his bloody blast

Kneeling before him and clasping his hand
She saw her shawl and did understand

Feeling her touch he opened his eyes
And seeing the truth the truth did dispise

He burbled and choked on the last of his life
And died in the arms of whom’d not be his wife

“Gods please” she asked in broken voice meek
“Please grant me that which I seek

“Let the mulberry keep its new shade
Showing how us love has betrayed”

She then took his dagger – cut into her heart
And thus there their flight ended before it could start

But Cupid was not the cause of it all
He was removed from this lover’s squall

He did cause their love but did not cause their end
Youth, immaturity, to their doom did them send

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