‘Cleopatra to the Asp’

Der Tod der Kleopatra by Hans Makart

The bright mirror I braved; the devil in it
Loved me like my soul; my soul
Now that I seek myself in a Serpent
My smile is fatal.

Nile moves in me; my thighs splay
Into the squalled Mediterranean.
My brain hides in that Abyssinia
Lost armies foundered towards.

Desert and river unwrinkle again
Seeming to bring them the waters
that make drunk. Caesar, Pompey, Antony I drank.
Now let the snake reign.

A half-deity out of Capricorn this rigid Augustus mounts
With his sword virginal indeed!
And has shorn summarily
The moon-horned river

From my bed. May the moon ruin him with virginity!
Drink me, now, whole, with coiled Egypt’s past
Then from my Delta swim
Like a fish toward Rome.

-Ted Hughes

A high resolution version of the image can be acquired here.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s