The Last of His Labors
Perhaps the most famous tale of Cerberus is this
The first of twelve labors assigned to a man,
A man who was now forced to atone,
A man whose name is a legend of its own.
Hercules was the first to face off against the dog,
The first to try to fight Cerberus with all of his might.
The man was known to have strength beyond bounds
But he had never faced such a monstrous hound.
As Hercules neared the dog with three heads
You have to wonder if he was smart enough to dread
A labor that was meant to help bring him peace
A horror to help Hercules’s guilt to cease.
The King Eurystheus had a use for the hound,
He wanted one day for Cerberus to be found
Guarding his place, keeping watch over all
If he didn’t succeed, Hercules’s other successes meant nothing at all.
The quest really got started when Hades gave the man leave
To go to the gate Cerberus to retrieve.
There was no way such a dog to deceive,
And now weapons were allowed, if you can believe.
Armed only with his might and a will to find rest
Hercules accepted and went down to tackle the dog.
They struggled and fought for such a long time
A cruel drawn out battle, a strength pantomime.
Ultimately Hercules won, knocking the dog out cold.
Cerberus woke in a new place, as if he’d been sold.
Of course he did not stay long, but soon returned himself home