Nike

O Nike, daughter of the god of war,
From storied heights you, goddess, ever soar!
The fame the hero has after he’s fought
And won the battle can never be bought;
From you it comes, the wreath of laurel leaves;
Such fame can comfort even he who grieves
For valiant men, who’ve fallen on the field:
Their deeds survive in word, and glory yield.
Achilles still slays Hector in his rage,
Unable still his sorrow to assuage
For Patroclus; and Ajax, on his sword,
Falls, for that he received not the award;
Odysseus shows himself the winner,
Making a bloodbath at the suitors’ dinner.
These had victory from you for warlike deeds,
And all their fame yet further glory breeds.
The victory of battle is your trust,
Awarded to the best side, as is just.

Bucephalus

Bucephalus, who feared the shadows cast,
Whose breaths came from his nostrils as a blast;
He snorted, reared, rejected every hand,
And every rider he bucked back to land;
They called him wild, wholly untameable,
And only barely was he restrainable.
Now, Philip, king of Macedon, refused
To buy this horse, by whom he was abused:
But Alexander wagered that he’d tame
The beast, and Philip consented to the game.
Towards the sun, Alexander turned the horse;
He had no need to use, then, brutal force:
He lightly mounted, shadows thrown behind;
His horse was then to all fear truly blind:
Like Phoebus did he ride towards the sun,
And when he turned, the bet he’d made he won.
His father, Philip, gave a hearty roar,
And praises on his young son did he pour.
And Alexander gave the horse a name,
Bucephalus, and marked him with the same;
On his haunches was placed an ox-head brand,
Submitted he to none but his master’s hand.
Bucephalus in many battles fought,
And many victories Alexander wrought.

Geras

Geras, god of old age, a shriveled waste,
Who cannot sense from food its smell or taste;
Whose sight cannot be trusted where to lead,
Whose skin by trauma slight is quick to bleed;
Whose ears cannot perceive such sounds as would
Deliver news of evil or of good;
But if they could receive such sounds as these,
‘Tis no avail, sense is ruined by disease:
The reason which before would light the way,
Can hold on nothing, only trip or stray;
Creative sparks can find no kindling to
Conceive of aught: he’s barren through and through;
The strength that gave to youth its awesome might,
Departs, and Geras trembles as in fright:
But fear is not the cause that makes him quake,
His sinews fail and make his frame to shake.
His frightful presence all the gods abhor;
Even to himself, he’s a burden sore.

For Boreas

When Boreas blows a blustery storm,
Then every man sits at his hearth to warm
Himself and hide from Winter’s icy blast;
Every woodland beast by its den holds fast;
The bird of prey soars over snow-capped trees;
If something dare to move, his prey he’ll seize;
At last he roosts upon a limb on high;
O’er all below he casts his watchful eye.
He blows and icy gusts his breath sends down;
He empties every street in every town,
And stops the rivers so they cease to flow
And blankets Earth under a mount of snow.

For Rumor

Zeus! Zeus, of all good to man the giver,
Who sends great Rumor news to deliver;
Be it true or false, be it good or ill,
In whispers hushed or lamentations shrill,
In joyful cries or breathless exclamation,
The news even of kings in every nation
You spread through every street and backward way
The deeds of all in manifest display.
With your voices you fashion myth from deeds;
When false the truth against you n’er succeeds.
When true the false can only fight in vain,
From you no secret hidden can remain.
The golden offspring of Hope on airy wings,
A mouth for every feather and each one sings;
To learn all you have as many eyes and ears,
To catch from man his whispered hopes and fears.
So fly you swiftly, so swiftly through the earth,
A faster being was never brought to birth.
Your eyes never succumb to darkening Sleep;
Fame or ignominy as you will you heap.

The Works of Theodosius I

What age, what wisdom, what great tradition
Was brought to ruin and sad condition!
When the tyrant king in his zeal for what
Was base and ugly did in destruction glut,
He banished games and every show of might,
And the priests applauded and called it right.
His mobs the books of the Serapeum burned,
Against the learned of old the tide was turned.
Apollo’s temple at Delphi with violence
Did they destroy, and the Pythia silence.
By edict the emperor the temples closed,
And the Vestal Virgins from their place deposed.
For all these acts of persecution he
Was made a saint by the “Holy See”.