Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Fair Is the Face and Dark Is the Heart

A poetic dialogue between Incomparable Cleïs and the moralistic philosopher Jeremias from my own Kateverse setting - where this is a translation from an original by the antique lyrist, stateswoman, and Cleïs fangirl Stateira Hetaira. The content is not otherwise universe-specific.

"Fair is the face and dark is the heart,"

a dialogue between Cleïs and Jeremias

Jer. Fair is the face and dark is the heart.
Beauty and grace end with seeming and skin -
Worm and corruption hold revels within.
Fair is the face, ah, but dark is the heart!

Cle. Fair is the face, aye, and dark is the heart.
Charms are our banners in daylight unfurled.
Hearts are the horrors we hide from the world -
Facing it graciously is our kind art.

Jer. Black is the death when white is the urn.
Flies buzz when hypocrites speak the world fair.
Ghosts fester foul as they fear the free air -
Black is the soul, Cleïs: white is the urn!

Cle. Black is our marrow - to light we must turn.
Artful decay brings red wine and rich food,
Fairer for sharing than raw tripes and blood.
Black are our souls, but how brightly they burn!

Jer. Foul is the heart though fair is the face.
Venus' eyes hide the charnel of Mars.
When he breaks through, who'll compare you to stars?
Fair make your heart, ere it shows in your face!

Cle. Foolish is heart that's unfriend to its face.
Brave is the heart that will fight from its hell.
Inwards must find what is fair from their shell:
Learning life's kindness is all our hearts' grace.

Jer. Dark is the heart caught deep in the clay.
Cle. Deck it with flowers, and dance in the day!
Jer. Fair is the face, but the spirit is sin.
Cle. Let it look out, while the stars soak our skin
By the banks of the wide Milky Way...
A Whisper. - Come in -

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