Posted by: aediculaantinoi | October 29, 2013

Nine Days Along the Nile: VI

IV Kal. Nov.

In mourning, I have sheared off every lock of my scalp’s hair.

None but my fellows notice, and I have not said why, nor have they asked.

Like everyone else, I am tasked with keeping both eyes on the river.

I have an allotment of it to watch exclusively.

Along the shore, there are four kinds of plant.

Papyrus reeds are not quiet in the winds on this day.
They will be collected, unrolled, dried, pressed together,
and upon them, words of consolation for the Emperor
will no doubt be written by those with greater art than I.

If Vitalis were still among the living, he would write such words.

There are blue lotuses, which the locals here say
can be made into an unguent that soothes the sleepless,
that lulls the eyes into states of vision.
But I think they are blue, like the night’s sky, with tears.

The Emperor is the Pharaoh of the Blue Lotuses today.

There are white lotuses, which are gentle to the touch,
but even on a day like today, the sun’s rays upon them
blind one’s sight with their whiteness, like too-fiery stars.
They are beautiful even in their severity.

The Empress is the Queen of the White Lotuses today.

There are red lotuses, far fewer in number than the others,
but striking for their rarity, their hue less heavy than blood,
more like the blush on the pale cheeks of a young lover.
They remind me of everyone beautiful I have ever seen.

The missing boy Antinous is the Hero of the Red Lotus today and forever.


  1. Praise to the Blessed Gods.

    (Just beautiful. And so sorrowful.)

  2. I feel the sorrow in this poem, and for a moment touch upon how deeply Antinous is loved. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Your meter here reminds me of classical Chinese poetry.

  4. Thank you for the beautiful poems during these days. A light is burning for Antinous here tonight, too.

  5. Bellisamo.When I went to Villa Adriana.the florist in Tivoli of course did not have any red lotus but I did place a a bouquet of red anthriums on the ruins of the his “tomb” the Antinoeion.Sat and watched the sunset over it. I fancy Antinoo was pleased by the gesture.

    • I’ve never been able to get actual red Nile lotuses myself; but, any red flowers seem to be pleasing to him.

      I envy your visit to the Villa and the Antinoeion! 🙂

      • I have some snaps if you like. I was the last one out of the Villa that day. I bought a bronze life size
        bust of Antinoo and took snaps with him all over the Villa Adriana. I like to fancy I brought him back to his home.

      • That would be wonderful! I’d love to see them! What a fantastic experience!

        I have a life-size bust of him as well, but it’s not bronze, it’s some kind of resin…the bronze must be truly striking!

      • Grazie. How do i post snaps to your blog?

      • I don’t know if there is a way, unfortunately…I’m not that savvy with technology.

        However, if you would like to share them with me via e-mail, then I could post them on the blog with your permission; or, I could just enjoy them privately as well. Whatever you like! My e-mail address is aediculaantinoi (at) hotmail (dot) com.

      • Sure.. I’ll put them in zip and send them to your email . I’m not a professional photograher but If you want to post I would be honored. Grazie

      • Thank you so much for those once again! 🙂

      • Sufenas Virius..grazie mile for the info on PanatheaCon perhaps I’ll see you there.

  6. […] the Vaults,” as it were…) “Nine Days Along the Nile,” I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX “The Orphic Hymn to Antinous” “Eleusinia Goetia” “The […]

  7. […] the nine-part poem “Nine Days Along the Nile” (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, and part 9). To be able to read that poem within ritual, along with many other […]

  8. […] year, I don’t have a long poem in nine parts as last year, but I’ll be doing something similar nonetheless in my entries here over those […]

  9. […] Days Along the Nile,” I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, […]

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