Herakles’ Song for Hylas

by Phillupus

By this lion’s mane I swear it,
by this poison-arrowed bow!
For your death, I cannot bear it!
For your loss, it pains me so!

To the western lands I’ll venture—
Eos waking on the morrow—
I’ll have all of Geryon’s cattle
yet no surcease of sorrow.

I’ll have the golden apples
for Zeus’ queen to show,
but I’ll not have any pausing
to this sadness, I well know.

I shall leash the hound of Hades
and shall lead him to and fro,
for I fear not death nor dying
nor into that realm to go.

It is sadness for my Hylas
that drives my spirits low;
men will hence mourn, thus, “Alas!”
and pale flowers soon shall grow.

Poets now will edit
causes from my death–slow–
over years and years of mourning
for love’s loss, my grandest woe.

Take this skin from off my soul
with a fiery shirt aglow,
for I will not fear my death
if it is to you I go.

By this lion’s mane I swear it,
by this poison-arrowed bow!
For your death, I cannot bear it!
For your loss, it pains me so!

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