To Erinys

Hail to you Erinys, O beautiful
and dangerous denizen of Dis,
dispenser of justice and exacter
of divine retribution. O Erinys,
you who hate those who shed
the blood of kinfolk almost as much
as those who defile and despoil
sacred places, and especially
the sacred abodes of the Gods. O Erinys,
defender of the innocent
and protector of those who long for justice,
you who bear the torch and noose
as you walk among the tombstones
and along the lonely roads by night,
crocus-loving Goddess. O Erinys,
you who often appear to those below
as a Black woman blacker than the Midnight Sun,
with hair the color of a corpse-eating blue bottle fly,
holding a silver sword sharp like desire
and shaped like the Moon’s crescent,
and in your other elegant hand, Lady,
you hold a perfectly balanced scale
made of a man’s rib-cage and tendons,
wearing a gown of fingernails
and a blindfold soaked in blood.
But to the initiate, O Erinys,
you show yourself as a shapely woman
in a gown as radiant as the Noontime Sun,
with the head of a horse, holding out
a crown of ivy and a chalice of wine
for the soul that is parched from its long
and arduous journey through the Western lands.
And then you guide them safely the rest of the way
to the abode of the Blessed, the House of Vines
at the heart of the Labyrinth
where the eternal nuptials of the son of Kore
and the sister of the Starry Bull are celebrated.
Hail Erinys, Mistress of a host of airy phantoms,
wielder of the scorpion-whip, who took the side of Zeus
and slew a dozen of the enemy during the Gigantomachia –
you of many forms and many names and many functions,
but always dear to us who know you best, hail!

2 thoughts on “To Erinys

    1. Thank you! She is an awesome, if enigmatic Goddess. (Some saw her as an aspect of Demeter, others of Artemis or Hekate, as well as a distinct indigenous, possibly even pre-Greek divinity – and that was in ancient times. Contemporary scholars are somehow even more confused on the matter of her identity, functions, etc. LOL)


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