Youthful Desire Is Naught But A Pyre

XXXXII

Of love bittersweet
Inexorable defeat
Of fathers’ denial
Desires’ own trial
Of two lovers lacking in foresight
Who couldn’t wait even a fortnight
Of lioness who did their flight end
Thought ‘twas only cloth she did herself rend
– Oh halcyon Muses nine –
For your version I simply haven’t the time
There are so many ways for a tale to be dressed
Do you change to make them impressed?
Over and over their story you tell
Should people not know of this one as well?
So let me now sing and to all you impart
How those two did form each other depart

Dr. Zeus – Book II – Canto XII

Be it nature or nurture we must ourselves be
From that one chain we’ll never be free

As it should be – for if ever we were
We could not exist – of this I am sure

Thus the horrid are horrid, the gentle are kind
As by our actions we are defined

Hence why those who with love are infected
Are often in action a bit misdirected

For the young and the rash are so simply caught
Practically praying to by Cupid be shot

There are two mortals who exemplify well
This simple message of which I now tell

Pyramus and Thisbe did in Babylon live
And to one other did their hearts give

But despite, or because, their neighbourly status
Their fathers did hate – malice gave gratis

So though they knew how their children did feel
They never would let them explore their love real

In fact they were from all contact banned
For if they were ‘lowed, escape they’d have planned

For their fathers, though asses, remembered well youth
And knew emotion and hope seemed to say sooth

And it seemed in the end they were not wrong at all
As soon was proven by a crack in the wall

For their houses adjoined upon one another
And that little fault they’d have yet to discover

By chance Pyramus as he did lie and lament
Heard Thisbe cry that her heart had been rent

He ventured response and they then discovered
That they could talk and still stay uncovered

This new little secret did them console
That that they kept between them and the hole

But alas in love we always want more
And thus in time this connection did bore

It became nothing but a painful reminder
That the Joy of marriage; they never would find her

Thus together they did wallow in grief
They’d get no relief – it was their belief

But as they mourned themselves day after day
They slowly did realize they could just run away

And thus did prove that their fathers were right
Though it might not have happened if not for grip tight

So using their secret hole in the wall
They discussed how they would flee from it all

They knew that they’d meet at a mulberry tree
By the tomb of Ninus – there they’d be free

But that was it – that was all!
No other details had they to recall

To where would they run? they did not truly know
They thought love would save them, wherever they go

They knew not even at what time of day
Together they’d leave – so excited were they

For they were, in truth, both children still
And thus they must a child’s roll fill

They had not the age, the wisdom of year
To see their own folly – though it was clear

So off one day those two did slink
Without provisions – they just didn’t think!

Thisbe was the first to arrive
For of freedom at night they did her deprive

As at that time the men are…“brusk
So she arrived closer to dusk

But that is the time when predator’s stalk
Though youth, ‘gainst caution, does ever balk

And as she did wait, awaiting love’s thrill
A lioness did wander over the hill

Seeing it there, mouth covered in gore
She ran for a cave, leaving the shawl that she wore

But the creature had already been sated
So by prey young and weak she wasn’t then baited

But despite its great size a cat’s still a cat
And fluttering cloth, well, they do love that

So with vim and vigor, exuberant glee
It played with her shawl by the mulberry tree

And soon she had torn it to shreds
Blood staining it all of the reds

But the lioness soon grew bored of her game
And thus wandered off, just as it came

‘Though ‘fore Thisbe came out of her hiding
Pyramus, excited, came up the hill striding

But once he was there his face did fall
For stuck on that tree he did see her shawl

And as to assumption youth always does leap
From running wild he could not his mind keep

‘Though there was no body nor blood on the grass
He thought for sure he’d lost his young lass

So deep in despair – his mind resolute
He sat with the shawl at the mulberry root

To make sure she was dead, he did not even check
He drew out his dagger and then ‘cross his neck

His arterial spray shot up to the sky
As he gurgled and sputtered but didn’t yet die

But as this folly he did then commit
Thisbe came out – for she’d waited a bit

And looking around she didn’t then see
Ninus’s tomb or the mulberry tree

She had not know the length of her flight
It had been lost in her desperate fright

So she wandered along hoping to find
The tree or the tomb she had left behind

Soon she saw branches cresting a hill
But with fruit the wrong colour – she must wander still

Although – was that Pyramus’s arm?
Did he too run from that harm?

But as she approached she saw him more clear
And her horror grew the more she drew near

It was the right tree she did see at last
The berrys were coloured by his bloody blast

Kneeling before him and clasping his hand
She saw her shawl and did understand

Feeling her touch he opened his eyes
And seeing the truth the truth did dispise

He burbled and choked on the last of his life
And died in the arms of whom’d not be his wife

“Gods please” she asked in broken voice meek
“Please grant me that which I seek

“Let the mulberry keep its new shade
Showing how us love has betrayed”

She then took his dagger – cut into her heart
And thus there their flight ended before it could start

But Cupid was not the cause of it all
He was removed from this lover’s squall

He did cause their love but did not cause their end
Youth, immaturity, to their doom did them send

Oh The West Wind How You Have Sinned

XXXX

Of my desirous son
And the love that he won
Of his great jubilation
His embrace of creation
Of his jealous rival; so full of spite
So sour from that sickly sweet sight
Of how his actions saddened them all
Creating a flower which pain does recall
-Oh halcyon Muses nine-
For your version I simply haven’t the time
This was Apollo’s last chance at redemption
That something but power might hold his attention
I had such hope that a new path he’d find
That down the same course he no longer would wind
So I shall sing, shall cry and lament
How from my son Hyacinthos was sent

Dr. ZeusBook IICanto X

It is far too common for love to us fail
So often, instead, does discord prevail

So while Pandora was ‘llowed that one bit of luck
Many find sorrow when with Love’s arrow stuck

For when shackled by Cupid; the spirit’s unchained
And thus is open to the greatest of pain

Therefore the furthest Apollo did fall
For before he’d had no pain at all

Hyacinthos alone would capture his heart
None other could ever, even in part

His only concern was for glory and power
For the feelings of others, he’d spare not an hour

He’d seen humans wallow – lament at their lot
But for their concerns he hadn’t a thought

He saw them, he knew! to suffering unblind
But they’d happen the same – they wouldn’t him bind

However this changed when he first spied that child
He for whom joy was still wild

But his heart wasn’t cold, that wasn’t why
He would not in himself allow sorrow to fly

He saw the transience of mortal life
So he’d not let it fill with sadness and strife

One could acknowledge the worst of the world
While still in themselves keeping it furled

But my son had never enjoyed just the moment
So lost in his schemes’ future deployment

So lost in future kudos and glory
He never saw worth in the passage of story

And though he could see future well
My son couldn’t help but fall under his spell

Thusly though knowing how it would end
He could not from his choice bend

For in every moment he now could see beauty
And so descended from heaven, neglecting his duty

Hyacinthos, now, was my son’s only wish
And for him with music he decided to fish

He found him with friends as they did cavort
As they did compete in all kinds of sport

So he approached the youths with his tortoise-shell lyre
And with beauteous playing did desire inspire

Those noble boys who together had played
Were caught by the ear – they games they then stayed

But when Apollo’s song did finally end
Those youths upon him did not descend

They all were too struck – by his song were so moved
Buy Hyacinthos had will and his worth he then proved

For he wished as always for ever more wonder
All the world’s beauty he looked at as plunder

Confident, assured, he god did approach
Which might be called hybris – might cause reproach

But to be the one chased was for what he had hoped
To be caught and caressed, pleasured and groped

And that youth well my son’s passion read
Wanting to tease, then take him to bed

So he left his agemates behind
And with my son a new love defined

For weeks they engaged in this little dance
But another resented that they’d missed their chance

For Zephyr as well had a love for that boy
And once turned to hate, love does destroy

He resolved that if he could not the youth hold
With no god or man would he ever grow old

So as those two lovers together did play
He knew what to do – saw in what way he’d slay

A discus they threw, forth and then back
With no thought of caution – they didn’t skill lack

On whatever sight they settled their aim
There it would land, ever the same

But passion man Zephyr didn’t play fair
And my son’s next throw he changed in the air

From a course set straight he that discus did pluck
And curved it so thus Hyacinthos was struck

But as soon as he finished, was done in his killing
He knew it had not at all been fulfilling

By stomping out love he nothing had gained
Save for perhaps, an image now stained

As for my son he held that boy broken
And for once in his life was very soft-spoken

“My love” he said “how could you leave?
Mortality’s selfish. Left me ‘lone to bereave

“For you alone I could maybe have changed
From my ambition been at long last estranged

“But with you, too my joy has now died
All I have left in my glory and pride”

And Apollo uncaring then shed a few tears
Transforming that boy, ever young in his years

So Hyacinthos the flower was through tragedy born
Upon who’s petals is Apollo’s grief worn

Dr. Zeus – Book I – Canto XXIIII

Of the best of them
And how he must fall
Of happiness fleeting
And passion’s defeating
Of my cruel twist of fate
So he wouldn’t be late
Of the arrogant wretch he finally became
Just so our house could remain still the same
-Oh halcyon Muses nine-
For your version I simply haven’t the time
Never again will I sing of my son
For soon enough he will be undone
Ever my mind is not sacrosanct
On no hope or god can existence be banked
So now all of you listen, weep and then wail
As he unravels right here, in this very tale

We Did Wait With Baited Breath For My Son Alceides’s Death

Alceides did know what must inexorably be
Thus he lived for the moment, his spirit was free

At first he did blubber and mournfully cried
Now he cared not what he left when he died

For now he knew true what came of the dead
Of what humans ‘came when they weren’t to life wed

They’d flit, they’d flicker down in Dis’s domain
They’d not even ‘member their very own name

Everyone shares this very same fate
And in this way does all life relate

Only in song can dead spirits dwell
But it’s hardly the same – as any can tell

In time he did realize – it just didn’t matter!
Why should he care if men his deeds flatter

For when he is dead, to him it’s the same
If they attribute his actions to Herakles name

Time itself may twist and be bent
But from he him himself they couldn’t be rent

He may be destroyed – his deeds they’d undo
But for now and for him they’d always be true

So for lust, so for sorrow, for the joy of it all
Into inaction he never would fall

Thus Deianeira, his love and his wife
With her he lived out his glories and life

But the cause of his end had already been set
It just, to him, hadn’t come yet

For some time before they came to Nessos’s river
Who would, postmortem, my son’s death deliver

As a ferry himself he had there set
And all of their deaths would this decision beget

For Alceides himself would swim to the bank
While Deianeira perched on Nessos’s flank

But the centaur’s mind was swollen with lust
And he wasn’t one that women could trust

For Alceides is swift as he is strong
And crossed the river before very long

Nessos then chose actions perverse
Of what he could do nothing was worse

He grabbed and he groped, he acted untoward
Deianeira’s desire, her pleas he ignored

Back he returned to their starting shore
While on ears deaf she still did implore

But there was one who did listen – there was one who did care
Alceides, her husband, for her he was there

But he was unsure if he could reach them in time
If he could stop Nessos’s crime

So he elected instead to take out his bow
And draw back the string, aim careful and slow

As straight as Apollo’s his arrow then flew
And Nessos’s torso, it punched it right through

So as then he stumbled down onto the shore
He began to feel as he never before

For as Thanatos came he felt life surrender
His blood further rose right down to his member

So he collapsed, made a sexual sound
His seed spilled out onto the ground

Deianeira he then set down on her feet
But still he refused, he’d not take defeat

“Well” he then said “I can not pretend
That my life has not now come to an end

“But I still have a chance – I may yet atone
I can ensure that you’ll be never alone

“For your husband’s a hero and I know well their kind
They just cannot keep one love in mind

“It will only be time ‘til he does of you tire
There’s no love eternal; Aphrodite’s a liar

“But if you will now a dying man trust
I’ll give you a way to rekindle his lust

“If together you mix all that I’ve spilt
His love for you – it never will wilt

“For that of my orchid and that of my heart
They both for you yearn, each every part

“If onto his chiton their mixture you coat
For you with love will your husband be smote”

This plot Nessos hatched for he knew my son’s trick
How his arrows were deadly with even a prick

The dread hydra’s poison was now in his blood
Which fell from his chest in a thick crimson flood

Enkindle it wouldn’t mad Passion’s flames
The potion instead would put death in his veins

But the words of the centaur, they had struck a chord
For Deianeira wished to be ever adored

So his instructions she followed – she had not a real choice
For at her husband’s seduction would many rejoice

But she never did worry – did never begrudge
Thus I did have to give her a nudge

When Oichalia fell and Lichas returned
I seized ‘pon my chance when of Iole she had learned

For ‘gainst that city Alceides bore grudge
When before their king just wouldn’t budge

There was a contest for his own daughter’s hand
But on Alceides winning he just hadn’t planned

For Eurytos was scared of my powerful son
The husband of Iole he’d not let him ‘come

So Alceides then left, accepted defeat
But now he avenged that old kings conceit

So here now was Lichas, declaring with pride
That they brought back Iole to be her son’s bride

But first they must to me sacrifice
So Alceides sent him to grab something nice

Deianeira he asked to the fineries fetch
And then I sent Envy that damnable wretch

She took on the form of a most common maid
And thus came to help when Deianeira bade

“I must mistress say”  Envy began
“I’m simply not sure that he does marriage plan

“This is the girl that he before did desire
In the sole cause of her capture to satisfy ire?

“Now it’s not that I your husband distrust
But perhaps he means to satisfy lust

“For I never have heard of a man such as him
Not yielding to every sexual whim

“If you pardon my saying for all of your vigor
You now do have a matronly figure

“Might he desire a maiden of youth?
Oh! Please forgiveness – I have been uncouth

“I’m sure he sent for this beauteous dress
Not in order to a young girl impress”

The clothing now gathered did Envy depart
Her craft she truly does turn into art

Left all alone, and Doubt having seed
Deianeira did what I did of her need

That ill fated potion she spread on the cloth
For truly that maid had made her all wroth

And though she her husband intended to keep
Soon for this action she surely would weap

For those venomous clothes Lichas brought to his master
The ritual flames had made them act faster

Aided by heat his flesh it did burn
For any relief Alceides did yearn

He tore at the fabric – it did not help at all
He tore at his flesh – to his knees did he fall

There was nothing to do – they could give no relief
They only could watch and be devoured by grief

And when it was clear he could not the venom expunge
At Lichas, his servant, he did viciously lunge

He grabbed at his ankles and spun him around
From Lichas’s lips came a horrified sound

Out he was thrown, far over the sea
While everyone else did scatter and flee

Thus to Deianeira word had returned
The cause of it all she, that potion, she learned

She did realize then Nessos’s plan
To avenge one’s own death? – they certainly can

She just couldn’t bear the grief and the guilt
There by her hand her own blood was spilt

At the same time he did with everyone plead
To help him now in this time of his need

But the assistance he asked was to help set alight
A pyre he built so he could end his own plight

No one would do it, they all from him shied
But an old friend he suddenly spied

Poias had wandered as he searched for his sheep
And he’d be the one to put Alceides to sleep

He gave him his bow what had once been his joy
That which now did him destroy

And so Poias, that king, did what my son did request
Alceides, at last, he then put to rest

No!

I mustn’t forget I’ll hold onto his name
I simply, I must! I’ll keep it, retain!

His fate is too cruel I made him to die
Be replaced and erased – I have to now try

So as he did burn – when that last life did drain
I held in my heart Herakles name

For after all, while he is exalted in songs
It’s among us gods that he truly belongs

So now setting all of his heroics aside
Defeating the Giants would be his new pride