- Hero and Leanderby CD Richards
This work has reached the exceptional level
A tale of love and loss
A Potpourri of Poetic Curiosities
: Hero and Leander by CD Richards
Loop Poetry Contest contest entry

Across the Hellespont each night did brave Leander swim
Swim in the darkness, heading for the light of Hero's lamp
Lamp light across the water told the young man where to head
Head filled with thoughts of Hero's arms, in which he would encamp

Encamp until the dawn was near, then bid his love farewell
Farewell, and then he'd vanish, as discreetly as he came
Came he to grief one cold dark night, Hero alone knew when
When mid-transnate, a storm sprang up, winds doused his lover's flame

Flame first burns bright, and then it dies, as darkness closes in
In circles did Leander swim, until his strength was gone
Gone was his flame, he disappeared, beneath the swirling waves
Waves of despair swamped Hero's soul, she could not carry on

On jagged rocks, near tower's base, Leander's body washed
Washed by her tears, poor Hero's face distorted in despair
Despair soon led to action there was no returning from
From that high tower, she did jump, and her life ended there

There in the seaside town of Sestos, dwelt a maiden fine
Fine weather for the lovers only lasted summer long
Long days gave way to winter chills, and sorrow filled the air
Air brought Leander to his doom, bearing a siren's song



Author Notes
Today's word: transnate (v.) to swim across something.


Hero - a priestess of Aphrodite who lived in a tower in Sestos on the European side of the Hellespont (known today as the Dardanelles).

Leander - a young man from Abydos, on the Asian side of the strait.

A number of ancient poets wrote about the tale of Hero and Leander, including Ovid and Virgil.

Thanks for reading.


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