Thousands of years ago when gods and goddesses
Lived among the mortal and made love to them,
There lived a man in Greece across the oceans
Whose muscles invincible, confidence supernatural,
His spirit all greatness, all sincerity, all eagerness,
Untainted by the vanity of his divine heritage of Zeus.
A fruit of lustful possession of the mortal beauty
Named Alcmena by Zeus, the god of gods, in slumber,
The son of god, the infant prodigy toying with a snake,
Grew out to be on a par with the strength and esteem of gods
That was the sacred prerogative exclusive to the Olympian.
But lo! It was nothing but the elitism of the gods, for he could
Threaten the Sun to make it cool, waves when his boat’s tossed at seas,
And his music teacher for forcing him to play the lute against his will.
But alas, this man of incorruptible pride, of exceptional valor
Was to be pierced by the unquenchable flame of jealousy and
Hatred of Hera, the wife of Zeus, for his being the love child of
Her ever amorous husband whose objects of passion knew
No boundary between the mortal and immortal evermore,
Which she couldn’t bear at the sight of Heracles, nevermore.
Thus, Hera cast the spell of Madness upon the son of Zeus,
Making him blind with terrible rage, talking sound and fury,
And exciting him to slay his wife and their three sons with a sword
smeared with their blood so crimson, so warm with their last breaths,
Leaving the wretched man in a bottomless pit of guilt and shame
In his awakening from the bewitched madness driven by the sulphurous
Envy of the wife of god, who sired this son of god, who loved his mother.
The great surge of remorse swept over Heracles with wells of tears,
The sublime wish to expiate his sin suddenly urged him to go
To the Oracle of Delphi for Apollo’s guidance for his penance,
Where the sacred priestess in fits of divine frenzy told him to
Eurystheus, King of Mycenae, his cousin, the inferior to his being
To purge out his sins of Matricide, Uxoricide, Prolicide, and Filicide,
Once for all, in the name of Apollo, god of the Sun, Truth, and Healing.
Thus obeyed Heracles, our wretched but genuine man of courage,
Who, at the command of Eurystheus, his loyal cousin, undertook
The Twelve Great Labors so impossible, so unthinkable, so incredible
By himself, alone, in act of penitence that was so brutal, so primordial as thus:
Killing the Lion was met by vanquishing the Hydra;
Then he had to capture the Stag and the Boar;
He even deigned to clean the filthy Stables in a single day
To kill the monster Bids, followed by capturing of the bull;
Thereupon, he rounded up the Mares to steal the Girdle;
Herded the Cattle so unmanageable and untamable;
Went to fetch the Apples and then captured the Dog of the Underworld.
The Greatness of the Spirit, the Purity of the Soul,
Far excellent, far above the Reason clothed in cowardly pride,
Far higher than arrogance and hypocrisy in the guise of intelligence,
Was the name of Heracles to whom no fear and intimidation did appear,
Nor the impossibility, nor injustice did exist in therein eternally evermore
enshrined in the memory of the half-man, half-god who once lived among us.