“Eumenides” Dark Verse by Michael Mina

The Remorse of Orestes or Orestes Pursued by the Furies used as an illustration for Michael Mina's poem "Eumenides"
“The Remorse of Orestes or Orestes Pursued by the Furies” by William Adolphe Bouguereau (1862)
As I knelt beside the shore of the Lethe,
Eumenides, falsely named, attending,
I drew the waters into my mouth, but did not swallow,
fearing the fugue, and arose to face them.

I thought of those I had loved and lost,
and those I had left behind, mourning.
A daughter, a son, a wife, all dear.
I recalled the fresh scents of spring 
as the reek of dying asphodels filled the air.

And I wondered why gods so-called would have it thus.
The only treasures one may carry beyond are memories,
yet they would take these from Man as well,
that not even the mind's eye might gaze on aught but Erebus.

They laughed at the cries of my mourners,
Hecate's hounds that mocked my mortality,
foul abortions of Earth, steeped in blood,
unworthy of Olympus.
I spewed the black water into their accursed faces,
black water to mix with the blood that rains ever from their eyes.
No, I decided as they tore at my flesh, I would face their unyielding fury.
It were better to scream unto the end of days than ever to forget.

Michael Mina’s work has appeared in Haunts, ComputorEdge, Figment, Penumbra, Next Phase, Eclipse, Mystic Fiction, and other magazines, as well as the anthologies Shadows of a Fading World and Once Upon A Midnight. His Amazon author page is TheSpeedOfDarkness.com.

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