Lessons From Alcestis

Color the World Orange  2021 - Unknown Goddess
Lessons From Alcestis
by Michael Doyle

Alcestis was the fairest of daughters
Much beloved by Pelias, her father
So too loved by her husband, Admetus
And of her son, the warrior Eumelus

Fearing that death might come to soon
Made Admetus err in bringing love to ruin
For the love of a good woman is at the root
Of one who in tale would feign being mute

Love, in all of its glory and powers
Is often the cause making passion devour
Along with religion and freedom in their satisfaction
Love is among the first desires driving man's actions

For all of its arousal of fear, pity, and tragedy
These are the actions that miss the mark of legacy
Complete in its beginning and noble until the end
This sings as dramatic life's often operatic ends

To awaken the emotions needed for healing
In their amusement of its cleansing feeling
A civic performance schooled in its duty
To reach the citizens with its sublime beauty

Democracy in its full citizenry speaks in assembly
Holding up for noble its concepts of chivalry
The profound truth behind the physician's great power
When the point of pride knows its determinative hour

Friendship comes even under the circumspect sight
When the yoke that could be cruel is treated light
There's an attachment in the gift of immortality
And that is that someone else must die without temerity

Dying is one curse that must be borne alone
Even the strongest hearts are not made from stone
This ransom, the king's wife, would willingly pay
To save the king's life, on that sorrowful day

As the kingdom prepares for her death with great mourning
Hercules, the hero, comes to the palace without warning
Well known are those who rise up with great virtue
Conversely, there is madness that knows no hero's due

All of the things that in a life truly matter
And had bound to Hercules' honor did shatter
His own life with a sin that required reparation
Through his eight labors before winning his extirpation

The vain seek to avoid their just responsibility
Escaping their debts due with struggled ability
And while a king might reign in his kingdom
Death comes to all and it comes just when it comes

Truth is always owed as a friend to be revealed
This is an obligation that must be fulfilled
Hercules himself left to overcome the specter of death
Bringing the gift of life by grappling for Alcetis' breath

The king's bride would be without voice for three days
As she heals returning to all of her living ways
In a chorus of lyrical song, the lesson is revealed
For the ways of gods are incomprehensibly concealed

There is mercy in the vicarious sacrifices given
So that mortal humans can have their follies forgiven
Each tragedy is devoted to Dionysus, god of wine and fertility
Despite, however undeserved, it is a matter of credulity

The Athenians believing themselves somewhat more than clever
Believed in the deeper truth giving them life forever
At the shrine of Eleusis a sacrament was taken
By body and blood baptized by immortality unshaken

The vineyard in winter dies itself back every year
A perfected mystery in that each spring life reappears
That life is eternal was observed in this affirmation
As the vines spring back filled with grapes of confirmation

Each grape is crushed then underfoot to sustain as wine
It is as if the giving of an essence quite divine
Lessons learned teach that excessive truth wreaks destruction
It is better then to share a little wine and much instruction

The god of moderation is as we are required to recall
The god brought back to life in order to save us all
Through a ransom of life that we might yet learn to live
By the saving grace of the mystery by which we have life to give

Gentiles and pagans were and are led by gentle preparation
To find Christ as the wine of life through this initiation
That a God so loved this world as to share this communion
That so whoever came to this will find sacred reunion...

...and through this the ransom is paid.

(c) March 8, 2022 Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved
Pour Up Winery & Vineyard - Sunset Over the Vinyard

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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