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The Bewitching Nymph

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  • The Bewitching Nymph


    'The Bewitching Nymph'

    by Dr. Dahesh

    With Permission from "the editor" of "Dahesh Voice".

    'Short Stories and Wonderful Tales, Vol. II, by Dr. Dahesh (translated from Arabic)

    My journey lasted an entire year. I had traveled through rolling plains and steep mountain gorges, almost impossible to scale, where death awaited me around every corner. I had gone through deep and precipitous craggy vales, which even wild goats, known for their ability to pick their way up perilous mountain trails, could not surmount. I made a makeshift buoy for myself from the trunks of trees which I tied together using tender green boughs. Aided by those primitive means, I paddled endless lakes where I was nearly devoured by fierce crocodiles, and it was only God who saved me from their powerful jaws. I went through thick woods where even wild cats with their lithe bodies and nimble movements found it hard to slip through. I drifted aimlessly through forests of dense, entangled branches and nearly died when adders tried to sting me, but when one's hour is not due, no difficulty is insurmountable... Then, I reached an arid desert. I placed my trust in God and walked on through its vast desolate reaches, for a whole week. I was beaten by hunger and thirst, but God was my deliverer.

    I finally reached an oasis where there were shady trees, and clear springs bursting from the rocks. I drank of the water and ate of the ripe fruit. I stayed in this blissful place another week, then moved on.

    I walked through wild sand and barren waste. The going was rough. Danger and fear lurked everywhere. I dared the wild animals: hungry lions and famished hyenas in whose steel jaws iron would feel like soft dough. One black night, I came close to being devoured by predatory wolves, but escaped them by standing in the middle of a circle of fire, feeding it with branches of trees until daybreak, when they disappeared and I was able to continue my long, arduous journey.

    At long last, I perceived at a distance a magical forest with tall, leafy trees. I hurried my steps in its direction until I reached it. It was spring time and the trees, shrubs and wild flowers were all in bloom, perfuming the air. I started to breathe their refreshing fragrances until my lungs were full. Roses with velvety petals growing alongside various types of flowers of blue, yellow, red, and multifarious hues studded that enchanting wood with their fascinating colors. Beautiful butterflies hovered round and a goldfinch, superbly colored, alighting atop a ben tree, warbled, lending the place an air of bewitching magic. My eyes followed its flight as it fluttered among the boughs covered with blossoms; its warbling was as captivating to the ears as the colors of the blossoms and roses were to the eyes. Soon, it took to its wings, away from the blossoming tree. An ebony black nightingale hovered and alighted upon the stem of a damask rose, twittering a hymn of joy. It was a pure delight to hear its singing and to gaze around at the pristine beauty of the garden, at the happy, starry blossoms, the singing, colorful birds, and the busy, speckled butterflies. Nature seemed to be reveling in a festival of joy.

    A crystal lake stood sparkling in the sunshine, where fishes of different hues and shades of red, blue, yellow and purple swam, delighting the eye with their magical auras. Water lilies floated on the surface, rendering the view heavenly and beyond words. It is the hand of God that created such beauty, pure delight for the eye to see and the mind to contemplate.

    I resumed my wandering, delving deep inside the wood until I reached a tree whose branches hung down heavily-laden with balmy leaves and clusters of starry blossoms. I pushed them aside and great was my surprise when I saw before me a wonderful palace of marble, a marvel of architecture. It was flooded with sunshine which made it sparkle like a jewel. I was astonished at finding such a place in the middle of that far-off, isolated woodland. The entrance was decorated with marble statues of ancient gods and goddesses. There was Venus, goddess of beauty, standing naked, haughty and proud. Mars, god of war, stood with his weapon inverted before the great goddess from Olympus, staring hungrily at her many charms. And there was Cupid, god of love, aiming his arrow at Hermes, messenger of the gods, to pierce his heart and inflame it with love for the beautiful Hebe of dark, large eyes, heaving bosom, and graceful form.

    I pushed the door gently, and it swung wide open. I stood dazzled and dazed by what I saw. The door knob was of pure gold, and the door itself was studded from the inside with large-sized rubies and crystal-clear diamonds. The reflections of light against these precious stones produced a fantastic play of colors. The windows were encrusted with stones of chrysolite and emeralds while corals and every kind of precious stone decorated each and every comer of the large hall. Suddenly, the sound of music such as no ear had ever heard floated in the air. I was drunk with the melody as if I were in a dream.

    As I wandered along, I stood fixed before the statue of a young girl whose beauty was so ethereal that it maddened with love the minds of the great deities.

    I Recognized Her

    Yes, it was she, the playful Botania who captivated Cupid and refused his love. When he failed to win that elusive goddess, nimble-footed like a gazelle, he broke his arrows. My gaze was fastened at that gorgeous statue made of solid gold inlaid with precious stones. It was a wonder of wonders. I half wished this wondrous creature would come to life. No sooner had the thought crossed my mind than the statue smiled at me.

    "Your wish has come true," she said, "I have long awaited your coming. Now the time has arrived for us to meet, for you are my love." Astonishment almost killed me.

    I rushed to her, my arms wide open and she did the same. We hugged, holding each other tightly and time seemed to stop. We were oblivious of place as well. How long we remained that way, only God knows. It was pure bliss. We forgot the world and everything in it: we forgot our fathers, mothers, friends and relatives, allies and foes, and all who were related to earth.

    We melted into one another and found ourselves treading the heavenly regions of the kingdom of love, drinking its divine elixir. The Cherubim himself could not have known greater happiness in the splendor and majestic presence of God as we felt in our embrace.

    I remained with Botania for a full year, which passed like a fleeting instant!

    And then the rooster crowed and I awakened from my dream, cursing all roosters.

    USA, May 4,1978, At 3:30 p.m.
    Last edited by Loup Solitaire; 10-13-2008, 10:04 PM. Reason: to correct scanning errors

  • #2
    Dr Dahesh never lost his fascination with youth.

    In 1978, although not a young man, DR Dahesh wrote this piece with the vigor of a youth. Seeing beauty and excitement in everything that surrounded him. And, I believe he saw beauty not just in the perfectly sculpted people and things, but in every direction that he looked.

    The Dahesh Art Collection is available to view on the INTERNET. In it, you can get a perspective of his idea of beauty. In fact it is less than the pure Greek perspective of beauty. The INTERNET presentation really is rather creative. Not as good as viewing in person, but........

    I don't know this to be a fact, but I think Mario can probably could comment on it. I would bet that he could see the "beauty within" also, as soon as a person walked into view.
    Last edited by Loup Solitaire; 10-13-2008, 11:25 AM. Reason: spelling updates


    • #3
      I read and the tears flow. What beautiful and haunting tales.


      • #4
        Ron, thank you for your efforts here... it is a great piece to read and reflect upon... think of the highest heavens and how the highest of spiritual fluids feel to roam and reconnect with this state of bliss... the indescribable love and freedom beyond anything that we can experience here in the material, earthly realm...

        That is what we are called to from what is good and decent somewhere within each of us at our very inner depths... it is all the artifice of our more basely desired spiritual fluids that try to mask this from us...

        We only start to fly when we first allow our feet to leave the ground... meaning: we have to first make the concerted efforts to move in the right direction... then as go our intentions, so go our actions. This of course takes a lot of faith, hope and love... and perseverance... but someone once said... the greatest these is love.

        Winged... it is nice to hear from you again. I hope all is well for you.
        Last edited by Johnson; 10-15-2008, 09:40 PM.