Knowledge enormous makes a God of me.
Names, deeds, gray legends, dire events, rebellions,
Majesties, sovran voices, agonies,
Creations and destroyings, all at once
Pour into the wide hollows of my brain,
And deify me, as if some blithe wine
Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk,
And so became immortal
John Keats ~ The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream
Rhino noticed that Trevor seemed more distracted than usual. He cornered him after supper one evening and asked him what was the matter. At first, Trevor made no response; he merely looked at Rhino and then at the floor.
“Come now, Trev,” said Rhino. “I know something is bothering you. You may as well tell me ‘cause whether or not you do, it will still bother you.”
Trevor glanced around to make sure they were alone.
“If I tell you, you must promise not to tell anyone else,” he said.”
“I promise,” said Rhino.
“All right, then.” Trevor took a deep breath.
“Two nights ago, I dreamed I was on top of a hill overlooking a large city,” he said. “Somehow I knew it was Rome. In the distance I could just make out the outline of the coliseum. The next instant I was inside its arena; the place was filled to capacity. I was on some kind of raised platform looking down on the crowd. There were shouts, cries, laughter, and whistles intermingled with the smell of smoke, food, perfume, and sweat. The crowd lay below me like a restless beast; occasionally it raised its great head and bellowed for the sheer pleasure of it. Suddenly the roar of the crowd intensified as a lone figure stepped onto a stage in the center of the area. It was a young man. He raised one hand and the place fell silent. Hoisting a harp in his arms, he plucked a string or two, and began to sing.”
“I watched in amazement as the singer played the crowd as deftly as he played his instrument. Everyone listened in rapturous silence. Their faces were masks of worship, and their bodies vibrated with devotion. The beast lay belly up before the hand of its god. Suddenly the singer waved his arms and yelled and the throng of people went wild. Women began screaming and weeping, waving their arms and dancing ecstatically. Men joined them, leaping and twisting in frenzy.”
Trevor hung his head, his face flushed.
“I began to envy the singer,” he said. “He seemed to be everything I wanted to be. Suddenly he leaped into the air and was caught by a group of women. They jostled him over their heads, and they tore his clothes. His naked body lay spread-eagle above them. I watched in horror as the women began tearing the hair from the singer’s head. They scratched out his eyes, they raked long claws down his bare chest, and finally, in a fierce frenzy, they tore his limbs and his head from his body. With a look of triumph, one of the women tossed the singer’s bloodied head at my feet. Its few remaining wisps of hair were long and golden…”
Trevor’s eyes filled with tears.
“Rhino, do you think that is me? Is the dream a warning? Perhaps music is not my calling after all.”
Rhino looked thoughtfully at his friend. Then he shook his head.
“I don’t think so, but what do I know? I’m no musician. I think you need to talk to Malcolm the bard. He’s had a lot of experience in that area. I’ll bet he would know how to interpret your dream. Let’s go.”