Mycene

by JOHN SALY
HAD the thin golden mask hidden your face
Completely, Agamemnon, I had never
Come here to question dusty mysteries
Spread on the blackened flagstones like a dream.
The summer stream was dry: sand, grains of gold
And unknown bones. The passage to the cistern
Still smelled of mud. Your soul crusted the stones
And through the shroud of years cruelty seeped.
Somewhere beyond the day the falling, falling
Water was still your blood.
Buried beyond my eyes in rippled limestone,
Choked with the inward tears of soundless weeping,
Shadow on shadow, clinging to the powder
Of rusted swords and spears: the furies wait.