RAJ NANDY (CALCUTTA, NOW SETTLED IN NEW DELHI)
**HERO AND LEANDER
** HERO AND LEANDER
The Dardanelles is a narrow strait which links, -
The strait of Bosporus with the Aegean Sea;
And also separates the European from the Asian
side of Turkey!
In the ancient days this strait was better known
With its narrowest stretch between Sestos and
Hero, the beautiful virgin priestess of Aphrodite*, -
Lived in Sestos on the European side!
Leander a fiery youth from Abydos, lived on
the opposite side of Sestos!
Leander saw Hero at a religious festival at Sestos,
And it was love at first sight we are assured!
Leander wooed Hero with many soft words of
How could Aphrodite the Goddess of Love and
Accept a virgin’s worship in the logic of all
For it never did fit in to the scheme of things!
Hero finally consented and returned Leander’s
Every night she lit a lamp on Sesto’s tower above!
To guide Leander as he swam the Hellespont -
And to come safely to her waiting shores!
One day a violent storm broke out at sea, -
Making Leander to drift far out at sea!
The strong winds had extinguished Hero’s
What fate ordains can hardly be denied!
Hero jumped from the tower overcome with
And at the bottom of the Hellespont they both
18 Apr 09
(Composed this poem-based on an old Greek myth I
came across reading Byzantine History! *Greek Aphrodite -
is the Roman Venus, – the goddess of love.)
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