My apologies to you (the readers), and to Antinous and Apollon, for the lateness of this post, which was intended for Solstice. I was in the merry company of a Hyperborean bard, and while I realize that is no excuse, nonetheless, it was not an opportunity to be passed up. I therefore offer the following, though late, in praise of the gods of yesterday’s occasion, and of all seasons.
O Muses of Hyperborea
O Muses of Hyperborea,
do not cling too closely to your leader
in his sojourns at Delphi and Delos,
but instead give your honeyed waters
for one short moment to my lips and tongue.
In your land, the Greeks have said,
there is only one god–but we know
that there are sons and daughters of gods
and other children of divine descent
in your land as well as on the earth.
Still, on this day, the light of the sun
approaches on earth the star over your skies,
never dimming, never stinting in its light
beyond cold winds and wintry storms
and every chill and frosted isle of the sea.
The god over all your land, Phoebus Apollon,
lends his gifts to mortals as he wishes;
may this midsummer be a time when blessings
from his arrows of inspiration plague poets
and make every tree’s leaf a nymph seizing with verses.
And make a space in the circular temple
for a fair Arcadian of Bithynia
who comes as the Neos Pythios,
who has faced Drako and Drakena
and tamed them with his songs,
the beautiful hunter of boars
whose spears could have slain heroes
but instead stabbed an Emperor
through the heart and loins with love
and made him, like your train of Muses,
an ardent devotee and entranced follower
inspiring others in turn to sing,
dance, declaim, write, and remember
splendors of days ancient and passed
and glories yet to come in time’s turning:
May Antinous and Apollon as brothers
share a temple and a throne
in your land of millennial days
on this day and every day–
praise and thanks, O Muses, to you!