The Tale Of Bakriti

Bakriti, lovelier than Helen, had not one lover at her side, for all the gods she had denied. The worshipers of Apollo, Aphrodite and Almighty Zeus, maddened, came to take her as a sacrifice, came to slice her pure white throat and let her blood satisfy the gods. Bakriti saw them coming at a distance and ran off far into the hills. On the doorway of her house she left this message: “You stupid fools of Attica, when will you learn to think? Emotion rules you; emotion is your god. When will you begin to be honest with yourselves? You will not catch me. for who can catch the wind? Who can snare the sunlight? Who can embrace the sky? When beauty leaves, Greece will die.”

Then each man turned and shuffled away with bowed head. They knew then that Greece was dead.

At night, sometimes, high in the hills, said the shepherds, a woman’s form could be seen and, if one listened closely, one could hear a voice of such beauty that tears came to one’s eyes. One old man, who had ventured further up than the others, said he heard these words: “I am I while I live; I am I till I die. Of past and future there’s nothing more high. The wind of my breath, the sight of my eyes, are greater than earth, worth more than all skies. I am I while I live; I am I till I die.”

The other shepherds cursed him and spat on him, then left those hills. He stayed. the next morning, from afar, they could see him climbing, slowly, but steadily, up. And they were afraid.

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