Chiron

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

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

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

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.

Phobos and Deimos

May Deimos rise and rage against the host,
With Phobos bring to naught their every boast;
The Dread of battle fill the coward’s heart,
Till Fear cause him to rend his friends apart.
The victims of his sons shall Ares mock,
As slaves and weaklings of unworthy stock.
The man that flees, the same shall be cut down,
And in his blood he’ll wallow, choke, and drown.
As Dionysus loves the taste of wine,
On blood shall Fear and Dread delight to dine.
Where law to chaos leaves its place and yields,
There Ares’ sons shall sow their fruitful fields.
The dead shall lie for birds of prey to eat,
When all the foes shall lie down in defeat.
The house of Hades shall be duly filled,
When men by savage butchery have spilled
The blood of those whom Terror seized with fright,
Who were hewn down in Ares’ dreadful sight.

Eos

The shining Eos, rising when the Night
Forsakes her place, with dazzling rays of light.
Hyperion, the Titan, was her sire,
Who with far shining Theia birthed the fire
Of morning light, the Dawn that breaks the day:
Then Eos rises in brilliant display.
Eosphorus and the four winds were born
By her, the rosy goddess of the morn.
She goes before her brother at the break
Of day; he drives his chariot in her wake.
The men who lived before, she sees them dead,
And rises o’er their progeny instead.
So, smiling daily does the Dawn arise,
And blushing paints she all the eastern skies.

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.

Orpheus and Eurydice

The joy of a marriage turned to despair,
Which music, though sweet, could never repair.
Eurydice danced with nymphs in the field,
Where serpents their poisons as weapons wield;
A snake in the grass bit her, and she died;
No cure for the poison could be applied:
And Orpheus mourned, consumed by his grief,
No beautiful sound or sight gave relief:
He charmed the world when he played on his lyre;
His songs had power to please and inspire.
So, he determined to go to the dead,
Not fearing the deep, with courage he tread
To Tartarus where Hades holds his court,
With Persephone, his cherished consort;
There was Cerberus, great Hades’ own hound
Beguiled by the sweet and lyrical sound;
So passed he among the ghosts of the deep,
Whoe’er heard his songs ceased promptly to weep.
At last, he arrived and stood before he
Who ruled this realm as the chief diety;
And Orpheus played his lyre for the king,
With skill did he play, with grace did he sing.
And Hades was pleased, and told Orpheus
His wife could return, only if he did thus:
He must go ahead of her, his true love,
And never look back till they were above,
Only when both had returned to the light,
Could he look back, and behold with his sight
His wife. And Orpheus was delighted,
Agreeing at once, the two alighted.
And Orpheus looked ahead with his eyes,
He kept the command and didn’t despise
The lord of the dead. He emerged from the cave,
But then he did something fatal and grave;
Though Eurydice still had not emerged,
He desired to see her, and his heart urged
Him, so that he turned and saw with his eyes
The woman he loved, and instant she cries
“Goodbye”. She faded, returning below
To the land where Styx and Acheron flow,
And Phlegethon and the Cocytus too:
And there was nothing at all he could do.
Lost to the living, he saw her no more,
Down like a river did all his tears pour;
To the underworld, he could not return,
No matter if love did in his heart burn:
So he sat and he played a mourning song,
Until he was found by a Maenad throng;
The followers of the son of Zeus raged
In divine frenzy, they could not be assuaged:
They tore him to pieces, such was his end,
But still for his music do men commend
His name; and the Muses took up his head,
And still did it sing after he was dead,
So that through the Earth, his music still flew,
Soothing and beautiful, gentle and true.

Hephaistos

The god of the forge, Hephaistos, who makes
Such armour as never changes or breaks;
He fashioned the aegis Athena bears,
As well as the sandals that Hermes wears;
The first for the goddess of truth and right,
The second for he who flies faster than sight;
And also Achilles’ armour he made
(The hero reduced Hector to a shade).
The gift of the god is the craftman’s skill;
By him much blood can the warriors spill;
By him was Venus with girdle arrayed,
And also all women who have displayed
Their charms with help of finery rely
On he whose skill can such good things supply.
Though lame, by his good, he renders to Zeus
Such works as the gods can put to good use.
And so, wherever, the craftsman is found,
There also Hephaistos’ good does abound.

Cybele

This hymn is a submission from a guest writer. Enjoy.

Magna mater!
Greatest mother
Mirror-image of demure Demeter
Eunuchs cry your coming nearer
Cross the seas from Phrygia

Lions roaring,
Reeds are piping
Piping out the old refrain
Roars of laughter, joyous weeping
Announce the coming of your train

You who Attis loved so dear
You who to the mad appear
Bane of Carthage, pride of Troy
Sibyl-Sponsored to destroy,
Yet creating, uncreated
All the things which we enjoy
To Cybele we give our chant
To you our deepest thanks intone
For all the beauties that you grant
And all the mysteries, all your own.