Tuesday, April 14, 2009
And Martha Must Wait
Euryclea clap't her hands
But refrained from remarking upon the scar.
And Homer, honoring the goodly nursemaid's restraint,
Tells instead of boar and spear:
A boy's being blooded to become a man.
Who would blindly chase his fate and lose his way
For ten long years, return, a beggar's foot
Fallen into a basin, even as his beloved Telemachus
Was soothed by the fiat of a redeemed Helen of Troy?
How could she then, who'd suckled the boy,
Stay her very own lips and not shout for joy
That the man now Master had returned?
A prodigal without a brother, a son-father who was also a God?
But return he did and silent she remained.
He threaded the bow
Ascended the stair,
His labors complete,
And there then found that for which he'd been made:
And Martha wonders how this
Could be the better portion.
But faithful Euryclea cleansed the foot only of a pre-cursor
And was content.
And Martha must wait.
(image: "Ulysses Recognized by Euryclea," Eustave Boulanger, 1849. Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts, Paris