sweet songbird on earth, lyre in hand—
put your faith in the gods, boy,
you are beautiful and beloved to them
and they would not see your music end.
play your mourning song for the world,
let humans weep and trees splinter in your wake,
as you leave your sun-father behind
to visit uncle and aunt in burning shadow.
trust in your wife, child, for she loves you,
snake-bite, shade-step, and all, you were happy once,
and she will follow you into the sunlight
to be born again, newborn protected godling.
you ache with the not-knowing,
with the silence roaring behind you,
and in giving in to impatient temptation,
orpheus, you are both lost.
scream your mourning song now, son of muses,
let them all bleed from your grief
even when hungry beasts tear you to shreds,
and the only real pain is her face turning to dust.
mother and aunts will save the best of you:
your musical head remains in their ageless hands
to enchant the world with lovely tunes of torment,
sung forever, never once allowed to rest.