For Hera

The Argive Hera, wife of Zeus, became
The Queen of heaven in both deed and name;
She it was that bore Ares, god of war,
Whose rage in battle echoes with a roar;
And Liberty she also brought to birth,
Whom the brave esteem of unequalled worth;
And Hebe goddess of the golden age
Of youth, whose fruits life’s troubles do assuage:
For strength and vigour and beauty most of all,
These bring their joy until old age spreads its pall.
These Hera bore to Zeus the reigning king,
Who is the source from which all good things spring.
But without Zeus she also bore a child:
The ugly thing was not in beauty styled;
A cripple was this son Hephaistos born,
Hence from her breast this wanting son was torn:
She hurled him from Olympus, and below
He worked a forge and did a bellows blow.
There fashioned he whatever Zeus required,
Achilles’ armour too in his forge he fired.
And Hera safe in Heaven stayed with Zeus,
Though oftentimes he played on her a ruse;
Yet next to him enthroned she did appear;
Of all that lived she only did he fear.

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