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XV. The Restoration of All Things
A transformation soon ensued from Lordly Griffin wild
To lion then to bleeding lamb, both terrible and mild,
Who laid his wounded head upon the morbid maiden’s breast.
The color came into her cheeks. She breathed as if at rest
And then exhaled with softened moan to Galen’s glad surprise
As, with a start, she sat upright and opened long-shut eyes.
The former mist from when she first walked plainly in his sight
Was missing now, and in its place there shined a brighter light.
A bleat turned to a lion’s roar and then an eagle’s screech,
Then, suddenly, the Griffin King flew upward out of reach.
As Galen gazed upon the lass, revived in time of need,
From north and west the prophet flew, approaching on his steed.
Alighting next, he looked around, excitement on his face,
And smiled at Galen as he said, “Recipient of grace,
Believe your eyes. Be not surprised. It is the right of kings
To fashion something beautiful from dead and broken things.
“Now would it be too much to ask, what is this maiden’s name?”
She rose and spoke in wondrous tones, “Through trial I became
More of myself for this good man who sought to know me best.
My parents named me for the stars. Dear sir, I am Celeste.”
He joined the couple hand in hand, then to the griffins led.
A far off look was in his eyes as joyfully he said,
“Celeste and Galen, rise and fly. There are but saddles two.
Consent to take one final gift I have to offer you,
“In wedded bliss to live within my cottage by the sea,
But here I’ll die. Then this good host will take what’s left of me
To safer shores beyond the veil of this world’s atmosphere
To bow before the Griffin King in reverential fear.
“Life’s vivid moments rise and fall like waves upon the shore.
Each breaker passes over me. I want for nothing more.
My sojourn by the ocean past, and, now, my waiting through,
My course is flown. I am fulfilled in what I’ve done for you.”
So, tearfully, with warm embrace, they bade their friend goodbye
And, later, perched on griffin backs, conversed within the sky.
They shouted high upon the wind and spoke of many things
Until they reached that happy shore on which the ocean sings.
Then, earnestly, they made their vows among the griffin host
And went inside to contemplate what they both treasured most.
They hung their saddles on the wall, forever, some would say.
For after that enchanted ride, the griffins flew away.