Beware, O Braggarts: Scorpius’s Lesson for Modern Times #Constellations #Orion #Scorpius #Song #Hear #See

The constellation of Scorpius is prominent in the summer night sky in North America. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel. by NASA is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Unlike what you see above, perhaps the most recognizable constellation in the evening sky over Western Pennsylvania is Orion. His myth inspired the first in this series of constellation songs FIVE YEARS AGO! While his belt may be one of the easiest things to identify in the evening sky, both the lyrics and music for “Scorpius” were not. I lacked the inspiration to jump start the work as the myth felt rather simple. Scorpius was sent to humble proud Orion. No big adventures. No epic struggles. Just a braggadocios character humbled. But when I heard the echo of Orion’s boasts in the mouths of the technological and political leaders of our time, I found the thread that would weave this song together.

In each octave (the verses), proud words and haughty sights show up in the first four lines before the turn, where the sting-of-sorts comes in the seventh line, moving from the “sting of disappointment” to the “nettles” being sown in silence, to finally “the hands once pierced” in the final verse. In this way the song moves from addressing Orion directly to those who would boast in new innovations (such as ChatGPT), to finally anyone who exalts him or herself over the only one worthy to be exalted. For “if you want to boast, boast only in the Lord,” the one who conquered the sting of sin and death, whose words bring life, whose hands heal, and who will refashion all we’ve bastardized. The language is strong, but fitting.

The chorus, then, offers us the antivenom to the venom of pride, allowing us to be humbled by the sting of these words rather than be pierced by the scorpion’s barbed tail. Paradoxically, the venom brings us healing, and rather than exalting ourselves, we find ourselves on our knees hearing clearly with our sight restored, looking forward to an even greater restoration still to come. (He who has ears to hear, let him hear…)

“Scorpius” Track 3 from Constellations: Volume 2 by Vincent H. Anastasi 2023


Vincent H. Anastasi - 2023

O, to hell with all your hubris,
All your boasting taunts and gibes.
I have heard your foaming mouth;
I have seen your haughty eyes.
But every blade has now been blunted
And the hunter turns to flee:
Feel the sting of disappointment
Ever hunted in your dreams.

You may tease us with your promise,
Try to please us with your lies,
Be the voice proclaiming freedom:
Innovations specious guise.
But all the artists and true poets
Will not bow nor sing your praise;
In their silence sowing nettles,
They will crown you with disgrace.

          So if you have the ears to hear,
          If you have the eyes to see,
          Let this venom be your healing;
          Let it bring you to your knees (2x)

Every mountain you’ve exalted,
Every ribald jest you’ve told,
Every nation raising Babels,
Every leader hoarding gold
Will one day all just turn to ashes,
Nothing touted in the skies
When the hands once pierced refashion
Everything you bastardized.

          So if you have the ears to hear,
          If you have the eyes to see,
          Let this venom be your healing;
          Let it bring you to your knees (2x)

2 thoughts on “Beware, O Braggarts: Scorpius’s Lesson for Modern Times #Constellations #Orion #Scorpius #Song #Hear #See

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