Canto VIII: Phersipnei’s Furrow and the Lion

Canto  VIII
Phersipnei’s Furrow and the Lion

  [The Chorus sang.]

Rejoice!  Rejoice the change that happened then!
For Phersipnei,* the Furrow's Queen, returned       [*Persephone]
From out the Kingdom of the Dead, and so
Was ended that Great Winter that so long
Oppressed us.  Though in those so distant days,
We didn't know the fruitful Furrow's ways,
The Earth still flowered thick with verdant growth,
And bright with vibrant green, and so our lot
Was happy, and we lived well satisfied.

[Colona (Country-woman), soprano, sang quietly.]

We stayed within the friendly Furrow for
Three thousand years, but after them within
Two hundred more the Pillar of the Sun
Was passed on to a fiercer warden, He
Who is the Lion, He who's sacred both
To Satre* and to Turan.  Though no friend          [*Saturn]
Of mortals, yet we learned from Him the skill
Of hunting well, to track our game and bring
It swiftly down.  We also learned to take
The Dog inside our house and make him friend
And family, and in return he joins
The chase with us, and also shares the prize.
Eventually we also trained the goat
And sheep to stay with us, and so we had
Their wool and milk, and when at times there were
Too many, they became our cherished meat.
The Lion taught us how to make the wheat
And barley grow, so it would always be
Available, around our houses, so
We learned to plant our crops.  For this we notched
Our counting bones, and marked the passing of
The days to know the phases of the Moon.
This fiercest Lion also brought the bright
And flaming Sun of that, the Greatest Spring
And under it we fired our clay to make
Strong bricks, and these were stacked to make our walls,
And so we left our caves to live in homes.

[The chorus sang again.]

And it was in the Lion's Watch, it was
Six hundred years before its end, when that
Fierce Beast did hold the Pillar of the Sun,
That Jane first began to hunger for
The arms of Jana, and that She began
To want to lie with Him.  Within that Reign
Did Tin approve the Sacred Union of
Them, splitting with His Thunderbolt the head
Of Sardo, letting loose the Holy Bird,
The Phoenix.  Sardo was His Wedding Gift;
He gave it to our Ancient Ancestors,
The Janid Twins.  Now sing ye sisters!  Sing,
Callioped'es, how our Parents came
And settled in this land, and won Their fame!

[continue to Canto IX]

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Last updated: Sat April 21, 2012