by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
From the deepest waters your blessings come
from the Baptai who bestow your mysteries;
a great lady, goddess of serpents and songs
who dwells beneath with chthonic kings.
Yours are rites of the senses and sexes
unknown in number, name, or narration;
down steps in a darkened cave they came
to meet you in death in a drowning pool…
But not death, joy in its stead they found
as ecstasy and delight overtook their eyes;
you smiled a serpent’s smile in return
and gave sorrows and sacredness in equal measure.
To you are rites of marriage and conception performed,
your words are prophecy to those who are wise;
the ecstasy of death is a pleasure to your children
when they come to you as you were taken hence.
Strength and peace, Kottyto, I beg of you
to embrace what comes, no matter the fate;
if poison or pestilence, if choking or crushing,
if drowning or debility, if death or delight.