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In honour of Apollon

A portrait of Apollon and Hyacinthos.The sun shining directly down a city street.
Bringing in a new year when the ┼┐un ascends to its highe┼┐t; remini┼┐cing on what has been when it lies at its lowe┼┐t
The strings of a piano.

G├ęrard de Nerval, ÔÇťDelphicaÔÇŁ

La connais-tu, Dafn├ę, cette ancienne romance,Daphne, do you know that ancient romance,Au pied du ┼┐ycomore, ou ┼┐ous les lauriers blancs,At the foot of the ┼┐ycamore, or under the white laurel,Sous lÔÇÖolivier, le myrthe ou les ┼┐aules tremblants,Under the olive tree, the myrtle or the trembling willows,Cette chan┼┐on dÔÇÖamourÔÇŽ qui toujours recommence !That ┼┐ong of loveÔÇŽ that always begins again!

Reconnais-tu le Temple, au p├ęri┼┐tyle immen┼┐e,Do you recogni┼┐e the Temple, with its immen┼┐e peri┼┐tyle,Et les citrons amers o├╣ sÔÇÖimprimaient tes dents ?And the bitter lemons where your teeth were impre┼┐sed?Et la grotte, fatale aux h├┤tes imprudents,And the cave, fatal to unwary gue┼┐ts,O├╣ du dragon vaincu dort lÔÇÖantique ┼┐emence.Where the vanqui┼┐hed dragon ┼┐leeps the ancient ┼┐eed.

Ils reviendront, ces Dieux que tu pleures toujours !They will return, the┼┐e Gods whom you always mourn!Le temps va ramener lÔÇÖordre des anciens jours ;Time will bring back the order of the old days;La Terre a tre┼┐sailli dÔÇÖun ┼┐ouffle proph├ętiqueÔÇŽThe Earth has ┼┐haken with a prophetic breathÔÇŽ

Cependant la ┼┐ibylle au vi┼┐age latinHowever the ┼┐ibyl with the Latin faceE┼┐t endormie encor ┼┐ous lÔÇÖarc de Con┼┐tantin :Is ┼┐till a┼┐leep under Con┼┐tantine's arch:ÔÇö Et rien nÔÇÖa d├ęrang├ę le ┼┐├ęv├Ęre portique.ÔÇö And nothing has di┼┐turbed the ┼┐tern portico.

A hymn to Apollon

I will remember, nor could i forget, far-┼┐hooting Ap├│ll┼Źn,
whom Gods tremble before as in Ze├║s 's abode He is ┼┐tridingÔÇö
then as He comes up clo┼┐e to the place They are ┼┐itting, They leap up,
all of Them, out of Their ┼┐eats, as He ┼┐tretches His glittering bow back.
L─ôt├│ alone ┼┐tays there be┼┐ide Zeus the great thunderbolt-hurler;
She unloo┼┐ens the bow┼┐tring and clo┼┐es the lid on His quiver;
taking His arrows and bow in Her hands from His powerful ┼┐houlders,
She hangs them on the pillar by which His Father is ┼┐itting,
high on a gold-wrought hook; to a chair She guides Him and ┼┐eats Him.
Then, in a goblet of gold, ┼┐weet nectar His Father pre┼┐ents Him,
making His dear Son welcome; and ┼┐traightway the other Immortals
┼┐it down there in a┼┐sembly, and Leto the lady is gladdened,
┼┐eeing that She has brought forth ┼┐o mighty a Son and an Archer.
Hail and rejoice then, Leto the ble┼┐s├Ęd, for glorious Children
Thou bore, lordly Apollon and Ártemis Shooter of arrows,
Her in Ortygia, Him brought forth in Delos the rocky,
while Thou reclined on a great tall peak of the Cynthian highland,
clo┼┐e to a date-palm tree by the ┼┐treams of the River In├│pos.
How ┼┐hall I ┼┐ing of Ye who are in all ways worthy of ┼┐inging?
For to Thee, Phœ̂bos , melodious ſongs are intoned the world over,
both on the mainland, nurturing heifers, and over the i┼┐lands;
all of the crags are delightful to Thee, and the ┼┐harp promontories
jutting from ┼┐teep high mountains, and rivers that flow to the ┼┐eabrine,
beaches that ┼┐lope down into the water, and deep ┼┐ea harbors.
Shall it be how fir┼┐t Leto delivered Thee, gladdening mortals,
when by the mountain of Cynthos She lay, on the rock-┼┐trewn i┼┐land
Delos begirt by the ┼┐ea, with a black wave ┼┐urging on either
hand to the dry land under the ┼┐hrill ┼┐harp breath of the ┼┐tormwinds?
Thence indeed having ri┼┐en, Thou rulest over all us mortals,
over the people who dwell in Crete and the di┼┐trict of Athens ,
al┼┐o the i┼┐le of ├ćg├şna and galley-renown├Ęd Eubo├şa,
├ćg├Ž, Eire┼┐i├Ž, and Pep├írethos, clo┼┐e to the ┼┐ea-brine,
al┼┐o Thracian Athos and PelionÔÇÖs towering ┼┐ummits,
Thracian Samos as well, and the ┼┐hadowy highlands of Ida,
Scyros as well as Phoc├Ža, the highland of ┼┐teep Autoc├ín├Ę
al┼┐o, and firm-┼┐et Imbros and inho┼┐pitable Lemnos,
┼┐acred Le┼┐bos, the dwelling of Macar, ├ćolosÔÇÖ ┼┐cion,
al┼┐o Chios, the brighte┼┐t of i┼┐lands that lie in the ┼┐ea-brine,
Mimas, rugged and rocky, and C├│rycosÔÇÖ towering ┼┐ummits,
┼┐himmering Claros as well, and the highland of ┼┐teep ├ć┼┐ag├ęa,
al┼┐o watery Samos and M├Żcal├ĘÔÇÖs ┼┐teep high headland,
then Mil├ętos and Cos, that town of Meropian people,
then too ſteep high Cnidos and wind-blown Cárpathos iſland,
Naxos and Paros as well, and the rock-┼┐trewn i┼┐le of Rhena├şaÔÇö
even ┼┐o far did Leto , in birth-pangs with the Far-┼┐hooter,
wander to ┼┐eek a land willing to ┼┐erve as a home for Her dear Son.
They were all dreadfully trembling and fearful, and none of them dared to
take in Phœbos the Lord, not even the richeſt among them,
not until finally Leto the Lady, arriving on Delos,
made inquiry of Her, as in the┼┐e winged words She addre┼┐sed Her:
ÔÇťDelos, if thou wouldst be willing to be the abode of my dear Son
Ph┼ôbos Apollon , and here to e┼┐tabli┼┐h for Him a great ┼┐umptuous templeÔÇö
┼┐ince no other will touch thee; of that thou will not be unmindful,
nor, I believe, wilt thou be at all wealthy in cattle and ┼┐heep flocks,
nor wilt thou bring forth grapes or produce an abundance of produceÔÇö
if thou containest, though, the great ┼┐hrine of far-┼┐hooting Apollon ,
people will all be bringing to thee their hecatombs hither,
when they gather together; the mea┼┐urele┼┐s ┼┐avor of fat will
always ri┼┐e from the firesÔÇëÔÇöÔÇëthine inhabitants thou wilt be feeding
out of tho┼┐e foreignersÔÇÖ hands, for in truth thy ┼┐oil is not fertile.ÔÇŁ
So did She ┼┐ay; then Delos was gladdened and made Her an an┼┐wer:
ÔÇťLeto , the greatly illu┼┐trious Daughter of powerful C┼ô╠éos ,
gladly indeed to Thine Offspring, the Lord Far-┼┐hooting, would i grant
welcome, becau┼┐e it is terribly true that of evil repute i
am among menÔÇöthus i would become univer┼┐ally honored.
But this ┼┐aying i tremble at, Leto , and i will not hide it:
for they ┼┐ay that Apollon will be of a haughty and reckle┼┐s
temper, and greatly will He dominate both among the Immortals
and among men who are mortal upon the┼┐e grain-giving plowlands.
Therefore am i mo┼┐t terribly fearful in mind and in ┼┐pirit,
le┼┐t as He looks for the very fir┼┐t time on H─ôliosÔÇÖ Sunlight,
He will di┼┐honor the i┼┐land becau┼┐e i am rugged and rocky,
overturn me with His feet, thru┼┐t me to the depths of the ┼┐eabrine;
there will the great high billows forever be breaking above me,
over my head; He will go to another land, one that will plea┼┐e Him,
there to erect His temple and found His fore┼┐ted woodland.
Sea-polypu┼┐es will build upon me their bedrooms, and black ┼┐eals
al┼┐o will make me their carefree dwelling, becau┼┐e i lack people.
Yet if you deign now, Godde┼┐s, to ┼┐wear me an oath of the ┼┐tronge┼┐tÔÇö
it will be here that He fir┼┐t will erect a mo┼┐t beautiful temple
which will for all mankind be an oracleÔÇöafterward, ┼┐urely,
and let Him erect more temples and found more fore┼┐ted woodlands
widely among all men, for in many a name will He glory.ÔÇŁ
So she ┼┐poke; the great oath of the Gods did Leto then ┼┐wear Her:
ÔÇťNow Earth witne┼┐s to this, and the wide ┼┐ky ┼┐tretching above Us,
┼┐o too the water of Styx, down-flowing; for this is the greate┼┐t
oath and the oath mo┼┐t dreadful among Us ble┼┐s├Ęd Immortals:
┼┐urely forever will be right here on this i┼┐land the fragrant
altar and precinct of Ph┼ôbos ; and thou above all will He honor.ÔÇŁ
But then, when she had ┼┐worn and had brought her oath to completion,
Delos was gladdened indeed at the birth of the Lord, the Far-┼┐hooter;
Leto was yet nine days and as well nine nights by unwonted
birth-pangs pierced to the core; and the Godde┼┐ses were on the i┼┐le with
Her, all tho┼┐e who were noble┼┐t, as were Di├│n─ô and Rh├ęa ,
Th├ęmis of Ichn├Ž al┼┐o and thunderous Amphitr├şt─ô ,
all of the re┼┐t of the Godde┼┐ses too, ┼┐ave H─ôra of white arms,
for She ┼┐at in the halls of the great cloud-gathering God Zeus ;
Eile├şthyia the Godde┼┐s of childbirth alone did not know it,
for She ┼┐at in the gold clouds high on the peak of Olympos
by the contrivance of Hera of white arms, who out of envy
kept Her away from the place: to a Son both faultle┼┐s and mighty
Leto of beautiful tre┼┐ses was ju┼┐t then going to give birth.
Then from the firm-ſet iſland the Goddeſses ſent away Îris ,
Eileithyia to fetch by promi┼┐ing Her a great necklace
fa┼┐tened together with gold-┼┐pun threads, nine cubits extended,
bade Her deliver the ┼┐ummons apart from Hera of white arms,
le┼┐t with Her words that Godde┼┐s ┼┐hould afterwards turn Her from coming.
But then, when to the┼┐e things ┼┐wift wind-footed Iris had li┼┐tened,
She began running, ┼┐o quickly accompli┼┐hing all of the di┼┐tance.
But then, when She arrived at the ┼┐eat of the Gods, ┼┐teep Olympos,
┼┐traightway Eileithyia away from the chamber She ┼┐ummoned
out of the door, and in winged words there She ┼┐poke and addre┼┐sed Her
all that the Godde┼┐ses having their homes on Olympos had ordered.
In this way She per┼┐uaded the heart in the brea┼┐t of the Godde┼┐s;
then They departed on foot, in Their ┼┐teps like timorous pigeons.
Soon as had ┼┐et foot there on Delos the Godde┼┐s of childbirth
Eileithyia , the pangs ┼┐eized Leto , who yearned to deliver.
Throwing Her arms then around a date-palm, She fell to Her knees right
there on the ┼┐oft meadowland, and the earth began ┼┐miling beneath Her;
He leapt forth to the light; all the Godde┼┐ses cried out rejoicing.
Thereupon, glorious Phœbos , the Goddeſses purely and cleanly
bathed Thee in beautiful water and ┼┐wathed Thee in white┼┐t apparel,
delicate, recently woven, and fa┼┐tened about Thee a gold band.
Nor was Apollon the God of the gold ┼┐word nur┼┐ed by His Mother;
rather, of nectar and lovely ambro┼┐ia Themis provided
Him a due ┼┐hare with Her deathle┼┐s hands; then Leto was gladdened,
┼┐eeing that She had brought forth ┼┐o mighty a Son and an Archer.
But then, Phœbos , as ſoon as Thou ate the ambroſial victuals,
then no longer the gold cords held Thee, panting and ┼┐truggling,
nor did the bonds re┼┐train Thee, but all their knots were unloo┼┐ened.
Then to the deathleſs Goddeſses ſpoke forth Phœbos Apollon :
ÔÇťEver belov├Ęd to me may the kithara be, and the curved bow;
I will declare to mankind great ZeusÔÇÖs infallible purpo┼┐e.ÔÇŁ
So having ┼┐poken began to go forth on the earth of the wide ways
Phœbos of hair unſhorn who ſhoots from afar; and at Him then
marveled the Godde┼┐ses all; and with gold all Delos was heavy
laden as She caught ┼┐ight of the Offspring of Zeus and of Leto ,
gladdened becau┼┐e it was she that the God had cho┼┐en as dwelling,
over the i┼┐lands and mainlandÔÇëÔÇöÔÇëshe loved Him the more in Her ┼┐pirit,
blooming, as when with its woodland flowers a mountain-top blo┼┐soms.
Thou then, ┼┐ilvery-bowed Far-┼┐hooter, the lordly Apollon ,
┼┐ometimes ┼┐trode on Thy way over Cynthos, rugged and rocky,
┼┐ometimes Thou wouldst go roaming about among i┼┐lands and peoples.
Many indeed are Thy temples and many the fore┼┐ted woodlands;
all of the crags are belov├Ęd to Thee, and the ┼┐harp promontories
jutting from ┼┐teep high mountains, and rivers that flow to the ┼┐ea-brine;
but in Thy heart by Delos e┼┐pecially Thou art delighted,
Phœbos , for there long-robed Ionians gather together,
they them┼┐elves and as well their children and virtuous bedmates.
There in remembrance of Thou they give Thee delight with their boxing
matches and dancing and ┼┐inging, whenever they ┼┐et competitions.
One would ┼┐uppo┼┐e them immortal and agele┼┐s forever and ever,
He who had come upon tho┼┐e Ionians meeting together;
He on beholding the grace of them all would delight in His ┼┐pirit,
as at the men He gazed, and the women with beautiful girdles,
and at the ┼┐hips, ┼┐wift-┼┐ailing,as well as their many po┼┐se┼┐sions.
Then there is this great marvel, of fame which never will peri┼┐hÔÇö
it is the Delian girls, handmaids of the great Far-┼┐hooter;
the┼┐e, whenever at fir┼┐t in a hymn they have lauded Apollon
al┼┐o Leto the Godde┼┐s and Artemis Shooter of arrows,
calling to memory tales of the men and the women of old times,
┼┐traightway a hymn they ┼┐ing, enchanting the nations of mankind.
They know how to imper┼┐onate all menÔÇÖs voices and all their
mu┼┐ical vocalizations, and each would imagine him┼┐elf as
┼┐ounding the wordsÔÇö┼┐o ┼┐uited to them is their beautiful ┼┐inging.
But come, be Thou propitious, Apollon , and Artemis al┼┐o;
farewell, all of you maidens; and me then, even hereafter,
call to your memory, when ┼┐omeone among men on the earth , ┼┐ome
much-tried ┼┐uffering ┼┐tranger, arrives here making inquiry:
ÔÇťMaidens, for you which ┼┐inger is it of men wandering hither
who is the ┼┐weete┼┐t in ┼┐ong, and by whom you mo┼┐t are delighted?ÔÇŁ
Then do you all, each one, make an┼┐wer and tell him about me:
ÔÇťIt is a blind man dwelling in Chios, rugged and rocky,
who┼┐e ┼┐ongs, every one, are the be┼┐t both now and hereafter.ÔÇŁ
Thine is a fame, in turn, I will carry around as I wander
over the earth to the well-inhabited cities of mankind;
they will indeed be per┼┐uaded, for this is the truth of the matter.
Never will I cea┼┐e lauding in hymns far-┼┐hooting Apollon ,
God of the ┼┐ilvery bow, whom Leto of beautiful hair bore.