The fount of life spilled its crystalline locks
Into the river pool,
The blithe and bubbling stream that ran
Gaily crisp and cool
Through shady glens and sunny fields.
Beneath the full-grown verdant trees
Quietly beside the brooklet
In that far off paradise
The three Moirae met
To hold their fateful counseling.
They presided, Greek goddesses of fate,
Over the day of birth
Of Cain who first from the loin was sprung
Of the first on earth
Who from no human loin had come.
They gazed upon the somnolent sphere
Of brown and green and blue
And smiled to see the glistening
Of sun upon the dew
On blades of grass as yet untrodden.
First the fair Clotho, whose golden tresses
Matched the vital silken strand,
Settled to begin her ceaseless labor.
With an airy hand
She gave her spinning wheel a touch.
The thread of life from off it
Spun with ease.
From her moist and healthy lips a delicate song
Floated to join the breeze.
Through her fingers the silk ran quickly.
Lachesis, the second, riveted her cold eyes upon
That first-made thread
Lachesis, a mother’s age to Clotho,
With grey hair on her head,
Stood stiff and unyielding
She envied the nimble grace of the heavenly spinner
Wrapped in an aura of gold
l think, child, there’s thread enough
A mortal life to hold
The tum should now be mine.
Anger moved her nubbly fingers.
Jealousy in her face,
She grabbed the thread that flowed like water.
In her green-eyed haste
She pricked her hand against the wheel.
The blood came from her deserved wound,
And the silk was flawed
The fair-skinned Clotho in horror stopped
And blushed as she saw
The browning stain upon her precious silk.
Lachesis’ face in fury clouded over.
“You were to stop sooner,” she said
And turned away to her appointed task —
Into the divine thread
To weave the fate of mortal Cain.
She sewed in the events of all his life.
Included was the bloody drop,
An omen of ill-will from heaven.
The thread did not stop
But was passed by her to the third.
To Atropos, most aged and ugly,
Of the sisters three,
Whose gnarled form encased in black
Proclaimed death certainly
For him whose life was in the thread.
She held the strands in her trembling grasp,
The abhorred shears suspended
By which at the moment she decreed
The firstborn’s life be ended
With a single malicious snip.
Clotho, the innocent, a tear in her eye
Worked her wheel again
To spin for Abel who would suffer
The blood foretold of Cain
Caused by the envy her beauty bred in the shaded glen.