To Heracles

I call to Heracles, defender of men,
son of thundering Zeus, husband of bright-hearted Hebe,
who destroyed the raging lion of Nemea
and set the beast to shine among the distant stars,
who changed the course of the river Alpheios,
who slew the wicked Diomedes who fed
his mares on the flesh of men, who ended the life
of the many-headed hydra. In high-walled Thebes,
the city of your birth, were you well honored;
throughout the land did men and women pray to you,
at splendid shrines and at great festivals. A path
of valor you chose in mortal life, heroic one;
in godhood too you guard the world of men.
Heracles, friend of humanity, I call to you.

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