To Ariadne (deserted by Theseus)

AriadneWaterhouse“Ariadne” ~ John William Waterhouse 1898

To Ariadne (deserted by Theseus)

Oh, fury, equalled only by the shrieking wind—
The lashing of the waves against the shore,
You rage in vain, waist deep into the sea,
Betrayed, deceived, forsaken evermore.

Your cries are lost, your curses are unheard by him
That treads his winged way above the cloud.
The honeyed words upon your lips are brine;
The bitter salt wind sings off-key and loud.

Oh, scream in vain for vengeance now, and beat your hands
In vain against the dull impassive stone.
The cold waves break and shatter at your feet;
The sky is mean—and you bereft, alone.

The white-hot rage abates, and then—futility.
You lean exhausted on the rock. The sea
Begins to calm, and the retreating storm
But grumbles faintly, while the black clouds flee.

And now the small waves break like green glass, frilled with foam;
The fickle sun sends darts of light to land.
Why do you stand and listen only to
The sobbing of the wind along the sand?

~Sylvia Plath


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