For Apollon

I begin to sing of Bright Apollon,
Far-working, Far-shooting
Bearer of the lyre
Of powers diverse and various

In wild Delos you were born
And you were born wild
You, together with Artemis
You shot up together like weeds
Thriving in the bosoms of nymphs
Eating mallow and venison
Growing broad of shoulder
And mighty with the silver bow

Thus with strong arms you slew Python
Dreadful Earth-dragon of Delphi
As he reared up to spit molten rock
You loosed a hail of arrows
Nocked together as one
Piercing heart and head and throat
Now the center of the world is yours

Yours are plague and disease
To you belongs also their cure
Adept at wounding and binding wounds
God of sobriety and volcanic fury
Cold reason and Prophetic Madness
A hand that turns the day
Eyes that oversee the cycle of seasons
Inspiration to hymn them by poetry and song

Some gods are attended by revelers
Others by beasts or beauties
Yet when Apollon travels
Poetry and Hymns
Music and Dance
History and Astronomy
Tragedy and Comedy
Attend him hand and foot

O Apollon, attend to our hymns
Turn favorable eyes upon us
Grant us eloquence when we set down words
Grace, when we sing and dance
The light of intellect to reveal the truth
Inspiration as we tell our tales
Presence and Grandeur upon the stage

Slay for us the python coiled around the heart
That oracular trance does not destroy us
And lead us in good counsel
That our generation’s name
Shall be set among the stars
And you shall be remembered forever

Io Apollon!

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