The Revolt of Kronos

The sons of Heaven were hated from the first,

He hid them each in Earth and they were cursed;

Until their mother, Earth, who loved them so

Urged them to rise and Heaven overthrow.

They were hid in darkness soon as they were born,

They could not see the light, and were left forlorn.

But Earth, she groaned within her and was strained,

Heaven’s wickedness she loathed and disdained.

Of adamant she made a sickle great,

To bring down Heaven she fashioned it with hate.

She loved her sons and bid them to repay,

Their father’s crimes to bring them to light of day.

“Your father is a heedless fool,” she said,

“From him every sort of wickedness was bred.”

She spoke, but fear sprang up in everyone

Till crooked Kronos, Earth’s great Titan son,

Replied to her, emboldened in his heart.

He gave his word and swore vengeance for his part.

“I care not, Mother, for my ineffable

Father, Heaven, whose acts are terrible.

I will set myself and perform the deed,

And then we all from him shall at last be freed.”

Earth was filled with joy and a plan devised,

That Heaven would by Kronos be surprised.

She gave her son the sickle she had made,

And hid him once with this he was arrayed.

Then with the night did Heaven come and lay

Around the Earth and by her side did stay.

He longed for love, but hate was in her heart;

Deceived great Heaven did she for her part.

Her hidden son came forth and made his stand,

The saw-toothed sickle held in his right hand,

And with his left he reached and seized his sire,

The blade sent pain through Heaven like a fire.

He cut the stones from Heaven, who, castrated,

Was overthrown by one whom he’d created.

The stones did Kronos cast behind his back,

And revelled in the fruits of his attack.

And now as king of all did Kronos reign,

While Heaven’s blood in giant drops did rain.

This rain the Earth received, and so was born

All that raged and frenzied in its baleful scorn.

The Furies first and Giants, who with spears

And armour in their greatness filled with fears

All those lesser souls that lived upon the Earth;

These the Giants harrowed in great mirth.

The Humbling of Prometheus

In olden days when all the gods still walked
On mounts of Earth and played and laid and talked,
When every word was sure accounted for,
Reward and retribution held in store
To recompense with action every deed,
And misplaced word that malice dared to breed;
In those days cunning lifted up its eyes
And dared behold and beholding despise
The god of heaven, great and mighty Zeus,
And for this folly the god’s wrath did loose.

Fool Prometheus thought his wits could beat
The king of heaven, so he thought to cheat
Him of his portion, so he divided
Good from bad and by deceit misguided
Zeus the king, for the ox’s white bones he wrapped
And cased them in a coat of gleaming fat.
The portion of the bones in size outstripped
The marbled meat, whose portion size was clipped.
And Zeus, equitable, beheld the pair
And charged Prometheus they were unfair.

But Iapetos’ son, his reverence feigned,
Spoke the truth, deceiving when Zeus he claimed
The greatest of immortal gods to be;
And gave to Zeus the choice and bowed the knee.
But Zeus knew guile and the plan suspected,
And means devised that it be detected.
And Zeus the king, the fatted portion seized
And when he proved the trick he was not pleased,
And seethed in anger, and within he raged,
His wrath was fixed, and would not be assuaged.

And then as thunder did Zeus’ voice ring out
And sentence certain with no shred of doubt
He gave to Iapetos’ son the clever.
“Why, friend, your tricks, you forget them never!”
From wretched men, friends of Prometheus,
He withheld fire, and so punished them thus.
But Iapetos’ son, he again deceived,
And so the final punishment received.
And this time Zeus found a reward the worse,
A fitting, proper, and eternal curse.

For men he fashioned women to be wives,
To vex and to plague them all of their lives,
They’d help the men never when destitute,
But when men were rich, they’d share for to loot.
If men were crafty, avoiding this fate,
Then when they were old, no children would wait
On them, and feeble they’d suffer till death
Took from them their last and belabored breath.
And men loved the curse that Zeus had rendered,
To Love that’s cruel, they gladly surrendered.

But Prometheus, who was wise and kind,
He received his reward, for Zeus did bind
Him with chains around a mighty pillar,
And set an eagle to eat his liver.
And his liver grew again every night,
And so again each day befell this plight
Upon Iapetos’ son, whose knavery
Could not withstand the strength or bravery
Of Zeus the Thunderer and heaven’s king,
Who in might and wisdom did justice bring.