Well then, today is not the day for a blog post. You are getting a hymn today in the hopes that I'll feel better tomorrow. Oh--reminder: because I'm under the weather you're getting an extra day to donate to Pandora's Kharis' cause, The International Mental Health Research Organization, who won this round as Mounukhion 2014 cause! Have you made your donation yet?

Kallimachos of Kyrēnē (Κυρήνη, Cyrene) was a Hellenic poet and scholar of the Library of Alexandria. He rose to greatness around the third century BC and was the author of a large number of works. Unfortunately, only six hymns and sixty-three epigrams have survived to this day. Kallimachos despised the 'outdated' poetry type of Hómēros and wrote many testimonials against it. His hymns are, therefor, different to the eye than the Homeric and Orphic ones. For the complete hymns, go here. You are getting the Hymn to Apollon today in honour of the upcoming Thargelia.


How the laurel branch of Apollo trembles! How trembles all the shrine! Away, away, he that is sinful! Now surely Phoebus knocketh at the door with his beautiful foot. See’st thou not? The Delian palm nods pleasantly of a sudden and the swan in the air sings sweetly. Of yourselves now ye bolts be pushed back, pushed back of yourselves, ye bars! The god is no longer far away. And ye, young men, prepare ye for song and for the dance.

Not unto everyone doth Apollo appear, but unto him that is good. Whoso hath seen Apollo, he is great; whoso hath not seen him, he is of low estate. We shall see thee, O Archer, and we shall never be lowly. Let no the youths keep silent lyre or noiseless step, when Apollo visits his shrine, if they think to accomplish marriage and to cut the locks of age, and if the wall is to stand upon its old foundations. Well done the youths, for that the shell is no longer idle.

Be hushed, ye that hear, at the song to Apollo; yea, hushed is even the sea when the minstrels celebrate the lyre or the bow, the weapons of Lycoreian Phoebus. Neither doth Thetis his mother wail her dirge for Achilles, when she hears Hië Paeëon, Hië Paeëon.

Yea, the tearful rock defers its pain, the wet stone is set in Phrygia, a marble rock like a woman open-mouthed in some sorrowful utterance. Say ye Hië! Hië! an ill thing it is strive with the Blessed Ones. He who fights with the Blessed Ones would fight with my King; he who fights with my King, would fight even with Apollo. Apollo will honour the choir, since it sings according to his heart; for Apollo hath power, for that he sitteth on the right hand of Zeus. Nor will the choir sing of Phoebus for one day only. He is a copious theme of song; who would not readily sing of Phoebus?

Golden is the tunic of Apollo and golden his mantle, his lyre and his Lyctian bow and his quiver: golden too are his sandals; for rich in gold is Apollo, rich also in possessions: by Pytho mightst thou guess. And ever beautiful is he and ever young: never on the girl cheeks of Apollo hath come so much as the down of manhood. His locks distil fragrant oils upon the ground; not oil of fat do the locks of Apollo distil but he very Healing of All. And in whatsoever city whose dews fall upon the ground, in that city all things are free from harm.

None is so abundant in skill as Apollo. To him belongs the archer, to him the minstrel; for unto Apollo is given in keeping alike archery and song. His are the lots of the diviner and his the seers; and from Phoebus do leeches know the deferring of death.

Phoebus and Nomius we call him, ever since that when by Amphrysus he tended the yokemares, fired with love of young Admetus. Lightly would the herd of cattle wax larger, nor would the she-goats of the flock lack young, whereon as they feed Apollo casts his eye; nor without milk would the ewes be nor barren, but all would have lambs at foot; and she that bare one would soon be the mother of twins.

And Phoebus it is that men follow when they map out cities. For Phoebus himself doth weave their foundations. Four years of age was Phoebus when he framed his first foundations in fair Ortygia near the round lake.

Artemis hunted and brought continually the heads of Cynthian goats and Phoebus plaited an altar. With horns builded he the foundations, and of horns framed he the altar, and of horns were the walls he built around. Thus did Phoebus learn to raise his first foundations. Phoebus, too, it was told Battus of my own city of fertile soil, and in guise of a raven – auspicious to our founder – led his people as they entered Libya and sware that he would vouchsafe a walled city to our kings. And the oath of Apollo is ever sure. O Apollo! Many there be that call thee Boëdromius, and many there be that call thee Clarius: everywhere is thy name on the lips of many. But I call thee Carneius; for such is the manner of my fathers. Sparta, O Carneius! was they first foundation; and next Thera; but third the city of Cyrene. From Sparta the sixth generation of the sons of Oedipus brought thee to their colony of Thera; and from Thera lusty Aristoteles set thee by the Asbystian land, and builded thee a shrine exceedingly beautiful, and in the city established a yearly festival wherein many a bull, O Lord, falls on his haunches for the last time. Hië, Hië, Carneius! Lord of many prayers, - thine altars wear flowers in spring, even all the pied flowers which the Hours lead forth when Zephyrus breathes dew, and in winter the sweet crocus. Undying evermore is thy fire, nor ever doth the ash feed about the coals of yester-even. Greatly, indeed, did Phoebus rejoice as the belted warriors of Enyo danced with the yellow-haired Libyan women, when the appointed season of the Carnean feast came round. But not yet could the Dorians approach the fountains of Cyre, but dwelt in Azilis thick with wooded dells. These did the Lord himself behold and showed them to his bride as he stood on horned Myrtussa where the daughter of Hypseus slew the lion that harried the kind of Eurypylus. No other dance more divine hath Apollo beheld, nor to any city hath he given so many blessings as he hath given to Cyrene, remembering his rape of old. Nor, again, is there any other god whom the sons of Battus have honoured above Phoebus.

Hië, Hië, Paeëon, we hear – since this refrain did the Delphian folk first invent, what time thou didst display the archery of they golden bow. As thou wert going down to Pytho, there met thee a beast unearthly, a dread snake. And him thou didst slay, shooting swift arrows one upon the other; and the folk cried “Hië, Hië, Paeëon, shoot an arrow!” A helper from the first thy mother bare thee, and ever since that is thy praise.

Spare Envy privily in the ear of Apollo: “I admire not the poet who singeth not things for number as the sea.” Apollon spurned Envy with his foot and spake thus: “Great is the stream of the Assyrian river, but much filth of earth and much refuse it carries on its waters. And not of every water do the Melissae carry to Deo, but of the trickling stream that springs from a holy fountain, pure and undefiled, the very crown of waters.” Hail, O Lord, but Blame – let him go where Envy dwells!