In my dream I saw a vision,
And troubled though I was
With torments of the days I'd left behind
And doom promised for tomorrow -
I reached to grasp the hazy scene
To engrave forever upon my mind.

The beast was white and its body
resembled a horse
With the beard and cloven hooves
of a goat;
And from its forehead grew
a spiralled horn,
A horn of many colours,
In different hues, that I wanted to touch -
For my troubles were such that I yearned for peace.

But as I reached out, it vanished from sight
And in its place I saw a lion;
And I felt sweat on my forehead -
And a vice forged with fear
Rolled me in my troubled sleep
As I tried to recapture
The lost scene again.

And even as I screamed
The lion turned away,
To climb in haste a nearby tree
As the horned beast sped by me -
I wanted to cry out 'No'
But too late, I remembered the words
Of the seventeenth century poet:

'Wherefore as soon as a lion seeth a unicorn,
He runneth to a tree for succour
So that when the unicorn maketh force at him
He may not only avoid his horn but also destroy him;
For the unicorn in the swiftness of his course
Runneth against a tree
Wherein his sharp horn sticketh fast.
Then the lion seeth the unicorn fastened by the horn,
Without any danger at all he falleth on him and killeth him.'

And so I wept at what price had I lived
Such beauty impaled upon a tree,
I wanted to free it forever
To let the beast go free.

And I tossed as I dreamt of myths,
Of the Unicorn I know -
And I touched the magic horn
Its colour a gleaming snow;
And saw the pure, sweet maiden
Beckon, it rest its head upon her lap,
And trusting all it lay there
Unaware, betrayed - and trapped.

My dream was now a fury,
What traitors lay in wake
For the one that trusts too easily
With all he loves at stake

And in my dream I prayed to die
To free myself of hate
When from the past I saw again
The Unicorn -
And its mate.

Their horns were pointed upwards
And I looked into the sky -
And as I looked a different form
Took place before my eyes.

Twas the Son of God I saw there
Come humbly down to earth,
Where He offered Himself freely
Betrayed from time of birth.

And I touched His blood stained garment
And fell upon my knees,
And all my troubles seemed to vanish
As useless, selfish pleas;
And in their place a peace returned
The beast at last was free.

© Helen Catherine Cramer
13th March 1993
Graphic Helen Catherine Cramer
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