David McLansky

(5/24/1944 / New York City)

I Sing Of The Hesperides


Those lovely nymphs of yore,
Who tended carefully the trees
By Oceania's shores;
Who crafted such a restful shade
Where the sun sank in the West
Where the golden apples blazed,
For Heracles, a quest.
Of Atlas' daughters, who all were fair
In beauty one ranked highest,
She was his daughter Hespere;
Even Aphrodite would not deny it;
But she was loved by one Ladon
A hundred-headed guard
A monster set to watch upon
The fruits grown in the yard;
Hespere cried both night and day
To be freed from his obsession,
Her sisters turned their eyes away,
Both glad of her possession;
For beauty is an ornament
That cripples as it augments
And leaves its owner in torment
Confused that it does rent;
Two hundred eyes watched her walk
Beneath the apple boughs,
And if she dared to stop and talk
His jealousy aroused;
Stopping by the waters edge
She asked the ceaseless tide
Could He hide her in its wedge
Safe from prying eyes;
The ceaseless sea expressed regret
He could not safely keep
Hespere from the monster's fret,
Not even in its deep;
Two hundred eyes followed her
To the mountains high
Where she asked the god Zephyr
For a gentle ride,
To carry her to distant lands
Beyond Ladon's unblinking sight,
But Zephyr breath could not command
For it blew too light; ;

Submitted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Edited: Thursday, October 31, 2013

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