Sekhmet The Lion-Hearted
In the dark night I heard a stirring,
by Leonora Speyer
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.
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
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.