Alkaios hailed from the island of Lesbos and was an alleged lover of Sappho. He is credited for inventing the Alcaic Stanza, a Hellenic lyrical meter, used by both Sappho and Alcaeus. Alkaios was probably born around 620 BC, and wrote poetry not so much to honour the Gods, but to perform amid a circle of friends and associates. As all of the ancient Hellenes, he lived every day with the Gods, however, so They frequent his words. A huge number of poems by Alkaios' hand have been lost, but we have fragments. The poem below is one of the most complete ones we still have.

The hymn, fragment 34, was probably at least three stanza's longer, but what remains is worth sharing on its own. The island of Pelops the Peloponnesos, the southern portion of the Greek mainland, where Sparta, the home of Kastor and Polydeukes, was located. The 'shining afar' (Πήλοθεν λάμπροι) is a reference to St Elmo's Fire, an electrical discharge supposed by ancient Hellenic mariners to be an epiphany of the Dioscuri. The poem may have been used as a prayer for a safe voyage.

"Come to me here, leaving the island of Pelops,
you mighty sons of Zeus and Leda;
appear with kindly hearts, Kastor 
and Polydeukes,

you who travel across the broad earth
and all the sea on swift-footed horses,
and easily rescue men from death's
deep chill,

springing upon the tops of well-benched ships,
shining afar as you run up the forestays,
in the threatening darkness bringing light
to the black ship. . ."

An alternate translation is the following, which I also quite enjoy:

"Hither now to me from your isle of Pelops,
You powerful children of Zeus and Leda,
Showing youselves kindly by nature, Castor
And Polydeuces!

Travelling abroad on swift-footed horses,
Over the wide earth, over all the ocean,
How easily you bring deliverance from
Death's gelid rigor,

Landing on tall ships with a sudden, great bound,
A far-away light up the forestays running,
Bringing radiance to a ship in trouble,
Sailed in the darkness!"