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This poem is taken from PN Review 2, Volume 4 Number 2, January - March 1978.

Twelve Labours of Hercules John Heath-Stubbs

The Nemean Lion
To strangle a lion with one's bare hands:
This legitimates his kingship,
His godship. Hereafter
He wears the skin. We kill
What we love. We become
That which we kill.

The Lernaean Hydra
Foetid snake of the green, standing pool:
Nine heads-when one's cut off
Three others grow. Thus error
Pullulates. This kind
Is cauterized by fire.

The Arcadian Stag
The silver stag, proud-tined,
Fleeting over the white snow,
...


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