Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.
 
Sekhmet the Lion-Headed
 
Leonora Speyer
 
 
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:        5
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.        10
 
I asked:
 
O Sekhmet, Lion-headed one,
How long shall warring be?
 
And Sekhmet deigned to make reply:
 
Eternally!        15
 
Bold in my faith I grew:
 
Dread goddess-cat, you lie!
Warring shall cease!
My God of love is greater far
Than you!        20
 
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?—        25
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        30
That Sekhmet purred.

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