The Logos of Hephaestus

The Prodigal God am I, my gifts for all that strike
their hammer upon the forge or their maul upon a spike.
Glorious toys are my passion, for they show the mind
at its fullest, the works a chorus to the direction of thought.

And to me, the thought is no more than a diagram
for the case to be put into place, gears to be arranged
and the edge honed to a sharpness unknown to all others.
Look on the beauty of my works, and give thanks

Attention to each detail is paramount,
let no imperfections escape my eye,
and let them be ground smooth or serrated
Their end goal is the same and the purpose clear.

How great to know your place within the world,
To know that all shall praise your works.
Once I felt I was due more than honors for my duty
and sought to be the consort of wisdom

I paid no heed to the needs of wisdom, nor her desires
instead seeking to force wide the secrets she hid
and give them to my heirs as a gift of my line
And yet wisdom eluded me, save for the gift of awareness

So I make my gifts for love.
Even though my love often spurns the hand that makes her adornments.
And delivers them to the cruel and proud
as payment for favors rendered.

Who then make use of such tools as is their wont
which I made for nothing but the desire
to see a smile upon the face of man
To keep him safe from other man who loved me not.

But once they had gained my gifts they looked away
And all men became that other man
And they quaked in fear not of the gods
But in fear of the men who thought themselves equal.

The toys of Troy lay in ruins,
for such is the nature of a toy.
It is to be used till the amusement fades,
And the matter is settled.

Then those terrible and beautiful placed upon a wall
and other simpler toys are brought forth to serve
For the games have ended, and now lays the heavy task
Of forging the plow and the scythe.

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detroitmechworks's picture

So, I'll Elucidate.

Athens had a founding myth involving Hephaestus attempting to rape Athena. Supposedly Gaia became pregnant because of this, (feel free to make all the premature ejaculation jokes you want) giving birth to the founder of Athens who was foundered by Athena.

Which is the Greek equivalent of a Catholic trying to explain how Jesus could be a Man and God at the same time. In this case, it's trying to explain how somebody could claim to be the son of a virgin. (Sound Familiar?)

Hopefully that makes a bit of the imagery more understandable, if a bit more unpleasant. (Sorry!)

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Lookout's picture

looks out over Birmingham. The cast iron statue has an interesting story of its own.
from wiki -

The Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and is the city symbol of Birmingham, Alabama, reflecting its roots in the iron and steel industry. The 56-foot (17 m) tall statue depicts the Roman god Vulcan, god of the fire and forge. It was created as Birmingham's entry for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 World's Fair) in St. Louis, Missouri. The statue is the world's largest iron-ore statue, and among the nation's tallest.

In Roman mythology, Vulcan was the god of fire and blacksmithing and the counterpart of the Greek god Hephaestus. Born to Jupiter and Juno, he was the builder of palaces and weapons for gods and demi-gods. Birmingham's association with Vulcan dates to the 1880s, a time when Alabama was the nation's fourth-highest producer of iron and steel, fueled by the area's rich coal, limestone, and ore deposits, and Birmingham was expanding rapidly as a result. The image of Vulcan was assimilated into a short-lived Mardi Gras tradition from 1896–1900, in which the king of the celebration masqueraded as "Rex Vulcan," or King Vulcan.

http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1557

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

detroitmechworks's picture

@Lookout But it does make sense that the Roman's gilding on his mythos would focus on his works only for the rich.

Some have speculated that he was at one point a male counterpart to Athena, and that Zeus' parentage was an after the fact addition to Hephaestus' fatherless birth.

Which would also explain why the original "Son of the Gods" would have to be retconned into a not really son of the gods but still son of the gods when Athena had to be retconned into an eternal and forever pure virgin.

Of course, that's the cynic in me speculating on myths that might have come before.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.