Cassandra to a Pithos-Urn in the Palace of Agamemnon
Great coffin-cask, conceal me from the Queen,
Who stalks these halls with dripping axe in hand,
Hide me like feathered Hope, or the bloody band
Who whispered in the wooden horse, unseen
By all but me. Have all my gods forsook me,
The ravished bride of Pythius, the spurned
Supplicant of Pallas? While they burned
The toppled towers, I prayed. If Pluto took me
Then, I would have thanked him. Now, I burn
To see some other future. The mind can’t cope
Viewing untempered truth. Were she to learn
Her own fate, the fair queen would knot a rope.
So ope, and hide the truth, my Grecian Urn,
For Truth is ugly; Beauty, false as Hope.
Daniel Galef's series Imaginary Sonnets is a sequence of persona poems inspired by the 1888 book of the same title by Eugene Lee-Hamilton. Previous poems in the series have appeared in Measure, The Lyric, Ars Medica, the J Journal, Snakeskin Poetry, and the Christian Century. They have taken as subjects Lucrezia Borgia, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, the sorcerer Pan Twardowski, Saint Dagobertus, and an ancient Persian footsoldier who according to Plutarch was condemned by Artaxerxes Mnemon by being bound between two boats and devoured by honeybees.