Apollo joined the muses. Seized the head
which went on singing and pulled it ashore.
He'd brought his sister's shield, the one that bore
Medusa's face that could still blast, though dead,
living things into stone. Apollo froze
Orpheus' song in mid-air. Changed the notes
that hung suspended into crystal motes,
that mingled with the sweet smoke that arose
from the dead poet's pyre. His harp as well
the muses burned. The ashes in the air
forever hanging – Orpheus' dust is there
whenever notes of music rise and swell
in every singer's or composer's heart.
He chastens, purifies, transforms their art.