The Fall of Troy

Page: 56

  Thereon were seen two serpents flickering
  Black tongues from grimly jaws: they seemed in act
  To dart; but Hercules' hands to right and left—
  Albeit a babe's hands—now were throttling them;
  For aweless was his spirit. As Zeus' strength
  From the beginning was his strength. The seed
  Of Heaven-abiders never deedless is
  Nor helpless, but hath boundless prowess, yea,
  Even when in the womb unborn it lies.

  Nemea's mighty lion there was seen
  Strangled in the strong arms of Hercules,
  His grim jaws dashed about with bloody foam:
  He seemed in verity gasping out his life.

  Thereby was wrought the Hydra many-necked
  Flickering its dread tongues. Of its fearful heads
  Some severed lay on earth, but many more
  Were budding from its necks, while Hercules
  And Iolaus, dauntless-hearted twain,
  Toiled hard; the one with lightning sickle-sweeps
  Lopped the fierce heads, his fellow seared each neck
  With glowing iron; the monster so was slain.

  Thereby was wrought the mighty tameless Boar
  With foaming jaws; real seemed the pictured thing,
  As by Aleides' giant strength the brute
  Was to Eurystheus living borne on high.