Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SEKHMET THE LION-HEADED, by LEONORA SPEYER

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SEKHMET THE LION-HEADED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In the dark night I heard a stirring
Last Line: That sekhmet purred.
Subject(s): Animals; Cats

In the dark night I heard a stirring,
Near me something was purring.

A voice, deep-throated, spoke:
I litter armies for all easts and wests
And norths-and souths:
They suckle my girl-goddess breasts,
And my fierce milk drips from their mouths.

The voice sang:
I do not kill! I, Sekhmet the Lion-headed, I!
But between my soft hands they die.

I asked:
O Sekhmet, Lion-headed one,
How long shall warring be?

And Sekhmet deigned to make reply:
Bold in my faith I grew:
Dread goddess-cat, you lie!
Warring shall cease!
My God of love is greater far
Than you!

How gentle was the voice of Sekhmet then:
He of the Star?
He Whom they called the Prince of Peace --
And slew? --
And slew again -- and yet again? --
Ah, yes! --she said.

And all about my bed
The night grew laughing-red:
Sekhmet I did not see
But in that bleeding dusk I heard
That Sekhmet purred.

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