El convite / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Invitation

Thais was a courtesan of antiquity. Her name figured in the lost work of Menander. Time respected her youth and I have not found in the residues of the classical era any sign of her death.
     I have read of an exploit of her perfidy in a reconstituted document. Were I not to reveal that episode to mankind, I would be failing to live up to the advice of Plutarch’s morals.
     Thais drew her lovers into a trap, after mutually reconciling them. They made themselves comfortable in some ivory seats, worthy of a senate of kings. The woman left them amazed and suspended with the generosity of her imagination and set upon them a crown of poppies, while throwing a dried laurel into the fire. This laurel had sufficed to defend the life of a hero during the enterprise of visiting the infernos.
     The guests were rendered spellbound and lost in uncertainty.
     Thais had abolished their understanding and inspired in them the illusion of always being amidst the preludes of dawn. They would sometimes hear a faint hymn in the pale mist. It was intoned by some hyacinth crowned girls.
     The harpies and chimeras were weaving a circular veil and would descend to hang from the branches of an unsociable tree.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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