The Death of the

WHEN down the zodiacal arch S3 The summer sun resumes his march, Descending from the summit high With eager step he hastens by SI The "lordly lion" of July

And clasps the virgin in his arms.

Through all the golden August days The sun the ardent lover plays,

ITJ) A captive to her dazzling charms. But when the harvest time is o'er,

When they gathered grapes perfume the air And ruddy wine begins to pour, The god resumes his way once more; And, weeping in her wild despair, He leaves the royal virgin there. What cares he now for Virgo's woes, As down the starry path he goes With scornful step, until, at last, The equinoctial gate is passed?

Two misty columns black with storms, While overhead there hangs between A lurid thunder cloud, which forms The frowning archway of the gate— — The gloomy equinoctial gate, An evil place for travelers late, Where envious Libra lurks unseen; And near the portal lies in wait September, filled with deadly hate.

With stately step the god draws nigh, Yet, such is his majestic mien, That whether he shall strike or fly, The trembling ruffian hardly knows, As Phoebus through the gateway goes.

But, as the shining form came near, The wretch's hate subdued his fear, And, nerving up his arm at length, He aimed a blow with all his strength Full at the god as he went by. In anger Phoebus turned his head— Away the trembling coward fled.

The god, though smarting with the blow, Disdains to follow up his foe; And down the zodiacal path Pursues his gloomy way in wrath.

Still blacker turn the autumn skies, And red Antares, evil star, Points out the place, more fatal far, Where fell October ambushed lies. The SUN, as if he scorned his foes, iR. In pride and glory onward goes.

Not he from deadly Scorpio flies, Nor pauses he, nor backward turns, Though redder yet Antares burns, And darker yet his pathway grows.

Meanwhile October, from his lair, On Phoebus rushes unaware, His murderous purpose now confessed, And smites the sun-god in the breast. A ghastly wound the villain makes— With horrid joy his weapon shakes; And, as he sees the god depart, His hand upon his bosom pressed, Believes the blow has reached the heart.

Along his way the sun-god goes, Unmindful where the path may lead, While from his breast the life-blood flows.

The clouds around him gather now, The crown of light fades from his brow. X* And soon, advancing 'mid the night,

The Archer on his pallid steed, With bended bow, appears in sight.

November, bolder than the rest, Hides not behind the gloomy west; But, striding right across the path, Defies the god and scorns his wrath; And, raising high his frowning crest, These haughty words to him addressed: "September and October, both, You have escaped and still survive; But I have sworn a deadly oath, By me you cannot pass alive. That which I promise I perform. For I am he who, 'mid the storm, Rides on the pallid horse of death."

While even thus the spectre spoke, He drew his arrow to the head— The god received the fatal stroke, And at the Archer's feet fell dead.

Soon as the sun's expiring breath

Had vanished in the ether dim, y)o December came and looked on him;

And looking, not a word he saith, But o'er the dead doth gently throw A spangled winding sheet of snow.

And when the winding sheet was placed,

£5 Comes evil Janus, double-faced,

A monster like those seen in sleep.

An old "seafaring man" is he, As many others understand, Who carries water from the deep And pours it out upon the land.

Now February next appears, With frozen locks and icy tears, A specter cruel, cold, and dumb, From polar regions newly come. These three by turns the body bear At night along the west, to where A flickering gleam above the snows A dim electric radiance throws, A nebular magnetic light, Which, flashing upward through the night, Reveals the vernal equinox, And him whose potent spell unlocks The gates of spring.

An evergreen Close by this spot is blooming seen. 'Tis there they halt amid the snow— Unlawful 'tis to go farther go— And, having left their burden there, They vanish in the midnight air.

Yet on this very night next year Will this same evil three appear, And bring along amid the gloom Another body for the tomb. But still the evergreen shall wave Above the dark and dismal grave, For ever there a token sure That, long as Nature shall endure, Despite of all the wicked powers That rule the wintry midnight hours, The sun shall from the grave arise, And tread again the summer skies.

The foregoing allegory may be fully illustrated by the figure of the zodiac on page 92. Place the image of the sun— which is on the white circle—at the summer solstice, then turn the circle slowly around toward the autumnal equinox, so that the image of the sun will pass successively by 23, S1, 1T{>, ITt, and so on until the vernal equinox is reached.

The Raising of Osiris, an Allegory of the Resurrection of the Sun

Q. By what means and by whom was the sun released from the grave of winter, and finally restored to life and power?

A. By the vernal signs Taurus and Gemini (H), and the first summer one, Cancer (23), aided by the second one, Leo (¿1); or, in other words, by April, May, and June, aided by July.

Q. Explain this more fully.

A. When the sun arrives at the vernal equinox, he first gives unequivocal tokens of a return to life and power. In April he enters Taurus (^), and in May Gemini (H). During these two months he greatly revives in light and heat, and the days rapidly lengthen. The sun, however, does not attain the summit of the zodiacal arch until the summer solstice, in June, when he enters Cancer (23), the first summer sign and the third from the vernal equinox. Nor does he regain all of his energy and power until he enters Leo ($) in July.

On the 21st of June, when the sun arrives at the summer solstice, the constellation Leo—being but 30° in advance of the sun—appears to be leading the way and to aid by his powerful paw in lifting the sun up to the summit of the zodiacal arch. April and May are therefore said to fail in their attempt to raise the sun; June alone succeeds by the aid of Leo. When, at a more remote period, the summer solstice was in Leo, and the sun actually entered the stars of that constellation was more intimate, and the allegory still more perfect.

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