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Inspired by Wanstead Grotto

Tear from her breast what she most holds dear

Tears of the nymph drained dry through fear

Children mine, soaked in blood wine

A sacrifice to stem a rake’s demise

Ripped away in screaming silence

To deplore my loss without ceremony

My Atlantis sank beneath the tides

My hero entombed beside me

Locks and chains both drowned to appease

The god who prays for my ills

I signed his page, my life was claimed

To settle scores reaped from sorry council wars

He stole away my birthright and I

Succumbed to deathly canker sores

We were once abed with greatness

Riches won from kings, then lost to paupers

Scenes of the gala, of higher battle and balls

Emblazoned our walls, our gilded funeral shroud

Green-eyed maidens whose gowns swept our halls

Turned keen-eyed vultures gathered at clean carcass

While I watched, heart wrung out, a prideful joy scorned

The gorgon’s eye conquered

Beneath stone skin, I mourned

Chained to these reefs I lie in state

I am Andromeda, we were Prometheus

Raked raw by talons, our eagle overseer

Now devours what it can, leaves angels for dead

They gather my pieces from sodden soil

Where echoes rang of revelries long ended

Where we danced our holy melancholy

Now we, the vermin, remain at song’s end

Poseidon’s victory achieved

Cast headlong into Hades’ maw

Our sigil, my heartache’s enduring legacy

The snakes limp rags in eagle’s jaws

Torn from my breast what I most held dear

Tears of the nymph, stalactites of yesteryear

They dried in the flames, rotted as the grot breathed last

Andromeda remains, chained at half mast

I sleep eternal, conjoined with earthly blood

Congealed, unhealed, worn away in time’s flood

For my life, O Athene, I have no love

Save my daughter and my sons

Paint my embrace in distant skies

And let it brighten their lives to come

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