Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Sibyl (Edward Burne-Jones), Sonnet #298

The youngest sibyl reads from blank parchment.
What the gods once wrote about tomorrow,
She speaks, not understanding what they meant.
Her voice knows just one key -- that of sorrow.
She says, "You see today, but only dream
Of a next day; between them there's no seam."
When she predicts, her words are all esses,
Sibilant sweet. She names no day or year
(While she beckons you to step nearer)
For the coming of man's final excesses.
She doesn't speak of one man or woman.
She'll say, "There's no individual fate.
You seek from me some personal omen?
Then, for you, Dear, it's already too late."

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