Saturday, September 29, 2007
Hephaestus, smith of the gods
I summon you, oh great immortal smith,
Hephaestus, ancient master of the steel:
From days of fading legend and of myth
Again let hammer ring and anvil peal!
Call forth those fearsome fires of storied fame
To smelt the stones about your smoky deep
Then pour your magic ingots from the flame
Hid deep within your sacred mountain keep.
Now stir the blazing coals, and fan them white,
Your brooding visage dark, as cinders fly,
And leaping sparks give off their eerie light
That casts the hammer shadows arcing high.
And forge for me such armor as your hands
For star-crossed bold Achilles did supply:
A shield of gleaming bronze with iron bands,
With magic plate to shield him breast and thigh.
Then beat from sparking steel a blade right keen,
In dreaded dragon's blood full tempered then,
Such fearsome sword as mortals have not seen,
A flashing brand of gods, and not of men.
For blood of mine has answered country's call—
Far-voyaging men war's dangers cannot shun.
Use all your godly crafts, may he not fall;
A mortal father asks this for his son.
© 2004 Jeffrey Hull
R T Barr