Canto X: The Settling of Sardo

Canto X:  The Settling of Sardo

[The following verse was sung by a quartet: two sopranos, alto and contralto.]

The Moon's return is nineteen years*, and thrice    [*Metonic Cycle]
She ran the course, and half again She went*,        [*i.e. 66 years]
When Jan'e sent the holy boys and girls
Across the Sea to seek for mortal mates.
Within the Wombs Divine of Janae Girls,
The mortal lads soon sowed their welcome seed,
And Jani Boys enflamed the waiting wombs
Of mortal maids with sacred sap, the strong
And fiery marrow of the Gods.  And so
On Sardo swelled the Janid family's size,
A race of heroes bred both brave and strong.

[The chorus sang.]

These Mortal newcomers, with Janid wives
And husbands, lived in many well-formed caves,
Which were their homes, and feasted they on fish
From the lagoons and shellfish from the sea,
And hunted they wild game, including these:
The rabbits, hares, and deer, the oxen, pigs,
Wild boar, and horses, sheep, the foxes, dogs,
And goats.  Anon our people also learned
To capture these same animals, and ways
Of making pens and making cages for
Them all.  Thereafter had we milk and cheese
In plentiful supply, and also had
We meat to eat, when'er we slaughtered them,
And pelts and horn and bone with which to work.

[Astaca (Lobster), a mezzosoprano, sang next.]

The steadfast Carrier of the Sun was still
The Lion, and the Moon resumed Her place
Another thirty times* ere yielded He        [*30 Metonic Cycles = 570 yrs.]
The Pillar to another guard, for He
Had reigned then twice a thousand years and still
Eight hundred more. The Watch was taken by
The Armored Soldier of the Deep, who seized
The Pillar, holding it in Hands enclosed
By gauntlets.  Thus, the Heavens turned again.

[The chorus again.]

Within the Waddling Warden's watch we folk
Of Sardo learned to mix the finest clay
And shape our pottery; which we then smoothed,
And decorated well with lines and bands,
With angles, hatch-filled triangles, indeed
With every geometric shape, applied
By pressing* into it the edges of             [*Impresso Ware, presumably]
The cockleshells, and these we gathered at
The shore.  This was the time when first we learned
To put on bowls the ears with holes, so that
They can be hung in caves and over fires.

We went these happy ways for centuries,
Throughout the Phoenix' new and blessed life.

[continue to Canto XI]

Return to Biblioteca Arcana page

Send comments about this page
Last updated: Sat April 21, 2012