And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them.
—The Wisdom of Solomon 7:12
A serpent lurks amidst the coils of fog
That gird the mountain’s abysmal ground
Surrounded by these subtle mists
With lust he eyes his unsuspecting prey
And prepares to draw the fair lady down
The icy steppes, and deflower her in his icy lair.
Wisdom bends her graceful step
And wends her way amidst the seven pillars
Erected on the marble hill of vision, her Oriental silks
Are born by sylphs and songbirds’ warbles
So that they trail behind her in the eternal air
Her hair swirls like forgotten melodies of Persia.
The serpent prepares to strike
But lo! For golden lance in hand
To the nines bedight in shining armour
With the bray and fanfare of a thousand trumpets
And a brow that’s stern as casted iron
A champion appears, this fiend to vanquish forever.
Here and there the serpent darts
But cannot beguile the hero’s advances
At last, the golden lance strikes true
Impaled, the demon feints to fall,
But with guile and subtle tactic,
Catches the victor at his naked heel
And pierces the exposure with his mortal fangs
In anguish then the hero staggers, falters
And in a swell, collapses on the temple steps
His pulse grows feeble and he begins to pine
For the serpent’s venom works with fatal swiftness.
Wisdom rushes to his aid,
To dress his wounds with ancient balm
And, weeping, wash and lave them
In her adamantine tears.
But from the wound, is poison seeping,
His breath grows faint despite her will
His eyes grow distant and at last stands still:
Is he dead or only sleeping?