When Zeus arises from his noble throne,
And stands the king of heaven, all alone,
Such thunder shakes the Earth that men with fright
Straight fly indoors to hide them from his sight;
Olympus too, its high and lofty court,
Though great in power dares not make retort,
But acquiesces humbly to his will,
And stands to, promptly, his commands fulfill.
His wits beguiled aren’t by Venusian charms:
He takes who’er he wants into his arms,
And that he does whenever he so please:
He carried Europa lightly o’er the seas;
A bull she saw him and caressed his flanks;
Among the demigods her sons found their ranks;
She bore him children who grew to be kings:
The seed of Zeus surpassed men in all things;
Might and wisdom these sons of his possessed,
And law and justice on their lands did rest.
For feats of war Zeus also is renowned;
Through all the earth his deeds echo and resound:
From every halting weakness of the mind
He was free, and so, all power did he find;
Though Kronos was his father, he could see
He was not bound to honor paternity:
His father was wicked, and deserved to be
Sent to Tartarus for all eternity;
And Typhon too he slew, that noisome beast,
And after this the bruit in heaven ceased.
And later when the son of his son the Sun,
Took his father’s steeds, but couldn’t check their run,
His heart was not too soft; he rose from his throne:
His bolt struck Phaethon, who fell like a stone.
Apollo’s son was smitten that he died,
And though Leto’s son in bitter anguish cried,
Though he determined to retire from the sky,
And cease the chariot of the Sun to fly,
Zeus would not stand for him to duty shirk,
But threatened him and said “Get back to work.”
The king of all knew that no child was worth,
Complete destruction of heaven and earth;
And so, he made the gods to know their place,
If they dared disobey, his wrath they’d face;
His frightful bolts were enough to suffice
To uphold alone peace in paradise.
When Hera and Athena thought to go
To aid the Achaean host, then Zeus said no:
The goddesses then beat hasty retreats,
And promptly back in heaven took their seats.
He never stooped to help the weakling who
Deserved in battle to be driven through;
When he beheld the strong earn with his sword
The battle’s spoils, he thought it just reward.


Geras, god of old age, a shriveled waste,
Who cannot sense from food its smell or taste;
Whose sight cannot be trusted where to lead,
Whose skin by trauma slight is quick to bleed;
Whose ears cannot perceive such sounds as would
Deliver news of evil or of good;
But if they could receive such sounds as these,
‘Tis no avail, sense is ruined by disease:
The reason which before would light the way,
Can hold on nothing, only trip or stray;
Creative sparks can find no kindling to
Conceive of aught: he’s barren through and through;
The strength that gave to youth its awesome might,
Departs, and Geras trembles as in fright:
But fear is not the cause that makes him quake,
His sinews fail and make his frame to shake.
His frightful presence all the gods abhor;
Even to himself, he’s a burden sore.


Long time before Zeus, Hera, Venus, Mars,
Were born, Uranus, cradle of the stars,
He covered Earth, from him the cosmic seed
Did things both noble and ignoble breed;
In Earth he chained them, forbidding them the sky,
Though Earth displeased revenged this by and by.
The constellations framed he in the night,
The twinkling orbs to bring to darkness light;
Galactic structure, filaments unknown,
The depths of space sustained by him alone.
He brought the Titans forth, who for a while,
Ruled over all the Earth by Kronos’ guile:
But Olympian Zeus rose and overthrew
The crooked Kronos, and those with him too;
So reigned again the celestial on high,
Uranus’ descendants, gods of light and sky.

Apollo and the Python

The serpent Python, foe of gods and men,
The crafty, cunning fiend, was defeated when
One child of noble birth, the son of Zeus,
Pulled taut his arrow and sudden let it loose.
For Python, who before had been the nurse,
Of dreadful Typhon, he whom Zeus did curse
(For Zeus, when Typhon rose to overthrow
The gods in heaven, cast to depths below,
Where shades of every kind, of chthonic type,
In Tartarus their lamentations pipe;
Though that horrid beast may on occasion spray
Up fire from below, yet the gods of day
And light and joy he harms not in his rage:
He cannot in his chains even them engage),
Did chase the mother of the golden twin,
And thought against the god of truth to win:
But even in the womb Apollo knew,
Nothing of the Python to be good or true;
And after he was born, still in infant might,
From his mother’s arms he leapt to seize the fight;
He took the bow and loosed a fatal shot,
Then left the Python in a cave to rot;
The god of prophecy he then became,
And snakes forever after lived in shame.
And so this second serpent was destroyed,
And the golden gods at last their peace enjoyed:
Not even to the shades did Apollo send
The noisome beast; its soul met its final end.
The subterranean, though it wail in pain,
Against the heavenly never makes a gain;
The darkness of its soul condemns its plight,
While the light of gods shows them to be right:
The celestial the evil beast won’t brook;
On such they will not even deign to look;
They condemn the same to live underground,
Forever hated, and forever bound.

The Fate of the Fallen

When Zeus conquered Kronos and began to reign,
He meted out the fates of all that did remain;
To Tartarus he sent Kronos to be bound,
Where never more in power shall be found
That crooked one, who could not ever sate
His appetite for power, and his children ate.
His child Typhon too caught a deadly blow,
And was hurled down where Hades reigns below.
And Menoetius, whose fruit was hubris’ bloom,
By Zeus’ thunderbolt met his mighty doom.
His brother Atlas got the captive’s curse;
To serve his conqueror. What could be worse?
Zeus sent Atlas to the ends of the earth,
Where he forced him to hold all heaven’s girth;
Upon his shoulders to bear all the weight
Of great Olympus: such was his tired fate.
The home of the gods, the celestial sphere,
He bore for them without end, year after year,
Until such time as Zeus’ son turned him to stone,
And so forever silenced his weary groan.
Medusa’s Gorgon head did Perseus show,
And so his final fate did on him bestow.

For Chaos

Unseen, unheard, unknown, not understood;
No depths determined, dreamed, no daring could
So plumb the pale to pierce the place where first
The things we think we know were then dispersed,
The primeval void, the very undivined:
Cold Chaos cannot even be defined.
Did such birth space and all that we suppose?
How it happened no one in heaven knows.