Half-man, half-beast, yet learned in every art,
From each compounded, each its proper part:
Chiron, centaur, most noble, just, and wise;
Though Philyra, that bare you, did despise
Your form; for Kronos sired you as a horse,
So nature took its right and proper course;
And Apollon looked down, from where on high
He sat, and he beheld you, helpless, lie;
He took you up, and taught you prophecy,
And music, medicine, and archery.
So, learned in arts of war, your inner beast
Took joy in hunting, and the killer’s feast:
But having knowledge, too, of peace, what joy
In sacred arts and song did you employ.
He, whoever, was wounded to the quick
Found you a skilled purveyor of physic;
And watching movements of the stars that guide
Mankind, the workings on the Earth were spied,
And portents known, you spoke the truth to all,
Though good or evil from the gods should fall.
Achilles was your pupil, whom you taught:
From you he got the wisdom that was sought
By Peleus, who brought to you the lad,
And you received him, and in heart were glad.
For, every man that tames the inner beast
Is, like you, his own effectual priest;
He nurtures all that’s beautiful in life,
Unconquered by the chaos of mad strife.
And, though you dropped the shaft of Heracles,
Which pierced your foot and spread a foul disease
(The hydra’s blood was poison, and it spread
Through all your veins, to bring you to the dead),
But Zeus refused to give you to the deep,
Preferring that a better boon you’d reap,
He placed you with the stars that nightly vie
For place, and reign o’er all, both low and high.
So, those divine you watched on Earth with love,
With them you live and move each night above.


Astraeus, husband of the golden dawn,
The Dusk which all the starry night does spawn;
These children give to night their twinkling glow;
The winds you also birthed, who ever blow.
At even time, you shepherd in the night,
While Dawn, your place, takes up at morning light.
The grandson of Gaia and Uranus,
And son of Eurybia and Crius.
And though the Titan reign was overthrown
By Zeus, you still bring in the night alone;
Your proper place is yours to rule; for just
Is Zeus, and every Soul does what it must.
Thus, ever honoured, every eve you rise,
Presiding over all the darkening skies.


Asclepius, the healer of mankind,
The cure for every ailment did you find;
Master physician, foe to all disease,
The sick, the ill, your physic surely frees.
Paean, healer, and he who bears the rod,
And offspring of the most propitious god;
Who found the key to immortality,
Provoking anger in the deity
Who rules the deep, great Hades, for you stole
From him each time you saved a mortal soul;
And he besought that Zeus should right this wrong,
Lest he should lose all they that did belong
Within his realm, and so high heaven’s king,
He hurled his bolt, and did then balance bring;
For men again were brought to Hades’ halls,
And souls again came up from in his walls:
So, the living were furnished by the dead;
The same to Hades in due time were led.


Hekate, Titan goddess of crossroads;
Sky, earth, and sea, they all are your abodes;
Where three roads meet, there always are you found;
Your bulls through all of heaven pull you round;
You love deserted places, and the heights,
And every deer that in your haunts alights;
Of triple form, to every dog a friend,
At night against you can no man defend.
Your priestess by the skill that you supplied
Rejoiced after all of her foes had died;
As sacrifice, their souls Medea gave,
And you rejoiced when each went to his grave;
You celebrate amongst the dead. The night
You love; its dark hides nothing from your sight.