Dionysus Agrios, truly wild,
Forgoing restraint, forsaking the mild,
This god of the vine taught men to make wine,
Some thought it madness, but it was divine.
Outsiders who peep, beholding his rites,
He swiftly o’erthrows; with fury he spites.
What wisdom, unleashed from thought, can reveal,
No cunning magician, no thief can steal;
There logic and learning have no recourse,
Only the fury of Bacchus has force.
When Pentheus went and hid in the grove,
The Maenads to madness the wild god drove;
They ripped him to pieces, and carried his head
To Cadmus, who mourned to see he was dead.
The boundaries men had set with their hands,
Ignored he; he traveled to far-away lands,
Even to India, he made his way,
And there by his art, he also held sway;
For once they were drunken, then were they bound:
Though spared of their lives, his subjects were they found.
So, they that deny his godhood are slain,
While his devotees follow in his train.

Apollo Loimios

Apollo, chief of harmony,
And that maintained in purity;
When soul and body are in health,
Then only man finds perfect wealth.
Ablutions, absolutions, both
Though sometimes hard, so men are loathe
To heed physicians, yet when truth
Is guide their balms do only soothe.
And who can purify both soul
And body, make them to be whole?
It’s none but Leto’s golden son,
By whom all illness is undone.
His shaft is notched; he bends his bow;
He looses: gluttons are brought low.
A rain of arrows spreads disease,
But health he gives to them who please,
That is, the temperate, fit, and wise;
The balanced he with good supplies.
His will with skill he does exert,
Moving all in proper concert;
The stars in heaven, music too,
He fitly orders through and through:
Discordant sounds he will not hear,
To ugly souls he won’t appear;
He suffers chaos not to reign:
But lawless souls are timely slain.


Whose deed delivered Heracles at last
(For on the pyre that he had built he cast
Himself, desiring to be free from pain:
His wound was mortal: he couldn’t best this bane)?
Philoctetes was he that took the fire
And set alight the hero’s funeral pyre.
The sword of Vulcan, beneficial flame,
Did, at last, the pain of Heracles tame.
To Philoctetes, the hero gave his bow;
Then, deified, to heaven did he go.
The arrow points with poison were still tipped
(Into the hydra’s blood had they been dipped).
But with Philoctetes, Hera made war,
As also with Heracles she had before;
He set sail for Troy: but from Hera, a snake
Bit him in his foot; such a wound did it make:
It festered and gave off such a foul stench,
That burned in men’s noses and made them blench;
Odysseus said to leave him behind,
So Philoctetes set hate in his mind.
Alone he was left, upon Lemnos’ shore,
To tend to himself, vexed, crippled, and poor;
He hunted his food with Heracles’ bow,
And ate it in sorrow and bitter woe;
Ten years did he pass, and lived in a cave,
To his foot’s sickness, both weak and a slave.
Then, Odysseus learned they must have the arms
Of Heracles, so besought he with charms
Neoptolemus, who was Achilles’ son:
But with dishonor, he’d not be undone;
Though first Odysseus’ persuasion prevailed,
At last, the heart of Achilles’ son failed;
For Philoctetes, in a moment of pain
Had given to him, what he’d hoped to gain:
He had the weapon, to Odysseus’ joy,
But Achilles’ son couldn’t bear to destroy
Philoctetes: he gave back what he should:
Odysseus too received what was good;
For though Philoctetes raged at the first,
He suffered them not in the end to be cursed;
He sailed with them to Troy: there was he healed,
And this done, with his arms, he took the field.
He hid in the horse they left to deceive,
Then mothers of sons at night did bereave;
They slaughtered the Trojans, and set the fire
That made all of Troy a funeral pyre.
So, healed of disease, the hero arose
And rained down upon Troy a hail of blows;
He’d borne the wound that the serpent had struck,
Though bitter and cursing his wretched luck;
He’d laboured in sorrow until the day,
He sailed for Troy’s shores, and entered the fray:
Then like a hero, he behaved on the field,
Strengthened by suffering, and by hardship steeled.
Then, in time to come, like also his friend
Heracles, men upward to him did send
Prayers, and they offered libations as one
Who fought to the end, and surrendered to none.


The goddess, wise, was born unmixed
From Zeus, and was his favorite;
All wisdom, craft, and justice fixed
By her strong hands and unmatched wit.
Her gifts to man are beyond count:
How could he thrive without her aid?
Descends she from the lofty mount,
All armed as war’s triumphant maid.
She taught the cultivation of
The olive tree, and crafts were hers;
Unmoved, unswayed by sickly love,
Her justice right rewards renders.
Her favour for Odysseus,
Most cunning of all men, and wise,
Ceased not, and therefore shows to us,
To whom we may lift up our eyes,
As model for a worthy life;
He slew the suitors at their feast,
Turned table joys to bitter strife,
Till to a man they were deceased.
She judged Orestes innocent,
To free him from the Furies’ wrath;
So, on his way the king’s son went,
To tread a lighter, joyful, path.
She loves the hero, he who fights,
Who struggles on for what is right,
Whose raging sword the unjust bites,
Reducing them to shades by might.