Dr. Zeus – Book I – Canto XIIII

Of a most fearsome fight
And a creature of fright
Of brilliant help
From little young whelp
Of his poisonous arrow
Which would make his own barrow
Of the grandest of tasks which counted for naught
For he himself couldn’t have such a thought
-Oh Halcyon Muses nine-
For your version I simply haven’t the time
While my tale is not far from your own
I wish to sing on the seed I have sewn
Little things you often omit
Though they in truth change only a bit
Still I shall sing and once again spurn ya
And tell all of the Hydra of Lerna

Tis A Most Famous Tale When First Alceides Did Fail

As ever I was ever loathed even more
Alceides, my son, they still did adore

All that he did was accepted with grace
Any true challenge he’d still yet to face

But came a task he’d not do on his own
One of many for him to atone

‘Twas a hydra, a beast, with many a head
And one was immortal – would never be dead

Though which one, no one could say
For just to one that gift didn’t stay

It always passed to the one in middle
And none were able to down to it wittle

For when one did from neck a head hew
From where it had been there now would be two

But Alceides, my son, he’d not be perturbed
To worry, at all, to him seemed absurd

With his nephew, he then, to Lerna did ride
But he asked not for help, he’d far too much pride

Iolaos by a spring did suddenly stop
And did from the chariot suddenly hop

Far in the distance he saw the beast’s lair
It was plainly in view, it was lying right there

But if he hadn’t noticed they’d have ridden right by
For Alceides wished for the horses to fly

But now seeing what his nephew did show
Alceides boldness only did grow

With no sort of plan he began to attack
Courage, it seemed, he did truly not lack

He peppered the hydra with many an arrow
Which worked ‘bout as well as the peck of a sparrow

Though they bounced off its skin oh so tough
It, however, did annoy it enough

My son it approached, it reared up with menace
But he’d not run away, he’d need pay his great penance

So they grappled each other and their bodies got twisted
But he’d fight it alon – Alceides insisted

Iolaos he still did tell not to fight
For my son needed to prove his own might

Stuck together at its heads he did hack
It truly was stupid, but wits he does lack

There were fifteen in all by the time he was done
And he had to be forced, my strong stupid son

For a crab, giant, gave the hydra some help
It pinched my son’s foot, caused him to yelp

He let go the hydra and stabbed the crustacean
Though free of distraction he felt no elation

For he only succeeded in making it worse
He questioned his nephew in a manner quite terse

“So,” he barked “son of my brother
Is there a solution you did uncover?

“For you seem to think yourself wise
Perhaps because my strength you despise

Do you think that you’ve found a way
To end the dreaded hydra today?”

He, however, kept himself calm
He replied with voice cool as a blam

“It’s true,” he said “I do have a thought
It came to me while you with it fought

“It seemed that there was a quite slight delay
After each head your sword you did slay

“It took but a second for them to regrow
So on this to act, we mustn’t be slow

“In fact we’d need move with such awesome speed
That while lacking your strength, you still will me need

“I’ll fire a branch and just as you cleave
Burn at it’s flesh so a stump it will leave”

This annoyed Alceides for he saw it was true
That to succeed, they’d need to this do

So together they went and gathered some wood
Iolaos now was feeling quite good

To the spring with the hydra they then did return
Such great glory they were hoping to earn

It, at once, their arrival did hear
For now it had many an ear

My son and the hydra tangled once more
But for creature today it would be ending in gore

For their plan, it was working quite well
At nine heads left, the beast too could tell

It let go Alceides and tried to escape
To do this though it was simply too late

For while hacking its heads he kept up his grip
It couldn’t break free, from his hand couldn’t slip

Seven necks to a side with the last in the middle
It now began to spew froth and spittle

With a strong armed swing the last came away
On the ground the body he lay

But the head did still bite ‘round and gnash
Its skull wouldn’t break however he’d bash

They eventually placed it inside of a box
And covered it with chain upon chains, locks upon locks

They then buried it then under the road
So that all it had harried over it strode

And to use the body of that creature so vile
He collected the beasts venomous bile

For great poison for arrows it made
Though through this he would be unmade

And despite how it seems that all know this tail
Alceides did in no way prevail

For as he had needed his young nephews aid
This did not count towards his debt being paid

So still he did work for what Herakles’d do
And soon would I pay my penence too

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