A selection of ancient Greek adorations to various gods and other deified concepts. Adapted and modernized from Thomas Taylor’s 1792 translations, which can be found at the Internet Sacred Text Archive.
- To the Stars
- To Saturn
- To Jupiter
- To Mars
- To the Sun
- To Venus
- To Mercury
- To Terrestrial Mercury
- To the Moon
- To Fire
- To Juno (Air)
- To Ocean (Water)
- To Terra (Earth)
- To the Genius
To the Stars(top)
With holy voice I call the stars on high,
Pure sacred lights and genii of the sky.
Celestial stars, the progeny of Night,
In whirling circles beaming far your light,
Refulgent rays around the heavens you throw,
Eternal fires, the source of all below.
With flames significant of Fate you shine,
And aptly rule for men a path divine.
In seven bright zones you run with wandering flames,
And heaven and earth compose your lucid frames:
With course unwearied, pure and fiery bright
Forever shining through the veil of Night.
Hail twinkling, joyful, ever wakeful fires!
Propitious shine on all my just desires;
These sacred rites regard with conscious rays,
And end our works devoted to your praise.
To Saturn (top)
Ethereal father, mighty Titan, hear,
Great fire of gods and men, whom all revere:
Endued with various council, pure and strong,
To whom perfection and decrease belong.
Consumed by thee all forms that hourly die,
By thee restored, their former place supply;
The world immense in everlasting chains,
Strong and ineffable thy power contains
Father of vast eternity, divine,
O mighty Saturn, various speech is thine:
Blossom of earth and of the starry skies,
Husband of Rhea, and Prometheus wife.
Obstetric Nature, venerable root,
From which the various forms of being shoot;
No parts peculiar can thy power enclose,
Diffused through all, from which the world arose,
O, best of beings, of a subtle mind,
Propitious hear to holy prayers inclined;
The sacred rites benevolent attend,
And grant a blameless life, a blessed end.
To Jupiter (top)
O Jove much-honored, Jove supremely great,
To thee our holy rites we consecrate,
Our prayers and expiations, king divine,
For all things round thy head exalted shine.
The earth is thine, and mountains swelling high,
The sea profound, and all within the sky.
Saturnian king, descending from above,
Magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Jove;
All-parent, principle and end of all,
Whose power almighty, shakes this earthly ball;
Even Nature trembles at thy mighty nod,
Loud-sounding, armed with lightning, thundering God.
Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-formed from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my prayer, give blameless health,
With peace divine, and necessary wealth.
To Mars (top)
Magnanimous, unconquered, boisterous Mars,
In darts rejoicing, and in bloody wars
Fierce and untamed, whose mighty power can make
The strongest walls from their foundations shake:
Mortal destroying king, defiled with gore,
Pleased with war’s dreadful and tumultuous roar:
Thee, human blood, and swords, and spears delight,
And the dire ruin of mad savage fight.
Stay, furious contests, and avenging strife,
Whose works with woe, embitter human life;
To lovely Venus, and to Bacchus yield,
To Ceres give the weapons of the field;
Encourage peace, to gentle works inclined,
And give abundance, with benignant mind.
To the Sun (top)
Hear golden Titan, whose eternal eye
With broad survey, illumines all the sky.
Self-born, unwearied in diffusing light,
And to all eyes the mirror of delight:
Lord of the seasons, with thy fiery car
And leaping coursers, beaming light from far:
With thy right hand the source of morning light,
And with thy left the father of the night.
Agile and vigorous, venerable Sun,
Fiery and bright around the heavens you run.
Foe to the wicked, but the good man’s guide,
Over all his steps propitious you preside:
With various founding, golden lyre, ’tis mine
To fill the world with harmony divine.
Father of ages, guide of prosperous deeds,
The world’s commander, borne by lucid steeds,
Immortal Jove, all-searching, bearing light,
Source of existence, pure and fiery bright
Bearer of fruit, almighty lord of years,
Agile and warm, whom every power reveres.
Great eye of Nature and the starry skies,
Doomed with immortal flames to set and rise
Dispensing justice, lover of the stream,
The world’s great despot, and over all supreme.
Faithful defender, and the eye of right,
Of steeds the ruler, and of life the light:
With founding whip four fiery steeds you guide,
When in the car of day you glorious ride.
Propitious on these mystic labours shine,
And bless thy suppliants with a life divine.
To Venus (top)
Heavenly, illustrious, laughter-loving queen,
Sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien;
Crafty, from whom necessity first came,
Producing, nightly, all-connecting dame:
‘Tis thine the world with harmony to join,
For all things spring from thee, O power divine.
The triple Fates are ruled by thy decree,
And all productions yield alike to thee:
Whatever the heavens, encircling all contain,
Earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main,
Thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod,
Awful attendant of the brumal God:
Goddess of marriage, charming to the sight,
Mother of Loves, whom banquetings delight;
Source of persuasion, secret, favoring queen,
Illustrious born, apparent and unseen:
Spousal, lupercal, and to men inclined,
Prolific, most-desired, life-giving., kind:
Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, ’tis thine,
Mortals in necessary bands to join;
And every tribe of savage monsters dire
In magic chains to bind, through mad desire.
Come, Cyprus-born, and to my prayer incline,
Whether exalted in the heavens you shine,
Or pleased in Syria’s temple to preside,
Or over the Egyptian plains thy car to guide,
fashioned of gold; and near its sacred flood,
Fertile and famed to fix thy blest abode;
Or if rejoicing in the azure shores,
Near where the sea with foaming billows roars,
The circling choirs of mortals, thy delight,
Or beauteous nymphs, with eyes cerulean bright,
pleased by the dusty banks renowned of old,
To drive thy rapid, two-yoked car of gold;
Or if in Cyprus with thy mother fair,
Where married females praise thee every year,
And beauteous virgins in the chorus join,
Adonis pure to sing and thee divine;
Come, all-attractive to my prayer inclined,
For thee, I call, with holy, reverent mind.
To Mercury (top)
Hermes, draw near, and to my prayer incline,
Angel of Jove, and Maia’s son divine;
Studious of contests, ruler of mankind,
With heart almighty, and a prudent mind.
Celestial messenger, of various skill,
Whose powerful arts could watchful Argus kill:
With winged feet, ’tis thine through air to course,
O friend of man, and prophet of discourse:
Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine,
In arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine:
With power endued all language to explain,
Of care the loosener, and the source of gain.
Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod,
Corucian, blessed, profitable God;
Of various speech, whose aid in works we find,
And in necessities to mortals kind:
Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere,
Be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;
Assist my works, conclude my life with peace,
Give graceful speech, and me memory’s increase.
To Terrestrial Mercury (top)
Hermes I call, whom Fate decrees to dwell
In the dire path which leads to deepest hell;
O Bacchic Hermes, progeny divine
Of Dionysius, parent of the vine
And of celestial Venus, Paphian queen,
Dark eye-lashed Goddess of a lovely mien;
Who constant wanderest through the sacred feats
Where hell’s dread empress, Proserpine, retreats;
To wretched souls the leader of the way
When Fate decrees to regions void of day;
Thine is the wand which causes sleep to fly,
Or lulls to slumberous rest the weary eye;
For Proserpine through Tartarus dark and wide
Gave thee forever flowing souls to guide.
Come, blessed power, the sacrifice attend,
And grant our mystic works a happy end.
The difference between this hymn and the one preceding it is that Mercury is one of the few deities who travels between the worlds; most gods stick to one realm (ouranic or chthonic) or the other, occasionally visiting the land of mankind, but Mercury goes from Heaven to Hell and all other places. This Hymn is dedicated to the chthonic or underworld-oriented face of Mercury, while the preceding one is dedicated to the ouranic or celestial face.
To the Moon (top)
Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light,
Bull-horned and wandering through the gloom of Night.
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide
Night’s torch extending, through the heavens you ride:
Female and Male with borrowed rays you shine,
And now full-orbed, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon,
Whose amber orb makes Night’s reflected noon:
Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night,
All-seeing power bedecked with starry light.
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife,
In peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend,
Who givest to Nature’s works their destined end.
Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail!
decked with a graceful robe and shining veil;
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright,
Come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,
Shine on these sacred rites with prosperous rays,
And pleased accept thy suppliant’s mystic praise.
O ever untamed Fire, who reignest on high
In Jove’s dominions, ruler of the sky;
The glorious sun with dazzling luster bright,
And moon and stars from thee derive their light;
All-taming power, etherial shining fire,
Whose vivid blasts the heat of life inspire
The world’s best element, light-bearing power,
With starry radiance shining, splendid flower,
O hear my suppliant prayer, and may thy frame
Be ever innocent, serene, and tame.
To Juno (Air)(top)
O Royal Juno of majestic mien,
Aerial-formed, divine, Jove’s blessed queen,
Thron’d in the bosom of caerulean air,
The race of mortals is thy constant care.
The cooling gales thy power alone inspires,
Which nourish life, which every life desires.
Mother of clouds and winds, from thee alone
Producing all things, mortal life is known:
All natures share thy temperament divine,
And universal sway alone is thine.
With founding blasts of wind, the swelling sea
And rolling rivers roar, when shook by thee.
Come, blessed Goddess, famed almighty queen,
With aspect kind, rejoicing and serene.
To Ocean (Water)(top)
Ocean I call, whose nature ever flows,
From whom at first both Gods and men arose;
Sire incorruptible, whose waves surround,
And earth’s concluding mighty circle bound:
Hence every river, hence the spreading sea,
And earth’s pure bubbling fountains spring from thee:
Hear, mighty fire, for boundless bliss is thine,
Whose waters purify the powers divine:
Earth’s friendly limit, fountain of the pole,
Whose waves wide-spreading and circumfluent roll.
Approach benevolent, with placid mind,
And be for ever to thy mystics kind.
To Terra (Earth)(top)
O goddess, Earth, of Gods and men the source,
Endued with fertile, all-destroying force;
All-parent, bounding, whose prolific powers,
Produce a store of beauteous fruits and flowers,
All-various maid, the eternal world’s strong base
Immortal, blessed, crowned with every grace;
From whose wide womb, as from an endless root,
Fruits, many-formed, mature and grateful shoot.
Deep bosomed, blessed, pleased with grassy plains,
Sweet to the smell, and with prolific rains.
All flowery daemon, centre of the world,
Around thy orb, the beauteous stars are hurled
With rapid whirl, eternal and divine,
Whose flames with matchless skill and wisdom shine.
Come, blessed Goddess, listen to my prayer,
And make increase of fruits thy constant care;
With fertile Seasons in thy train, draw near,
And with propitious mind thy suppliant hear.
To the Genius (top)
Thee, mighty-ruling, Daemon dread, I call,
Mild Jove, life-giving, and the source of all;
Great Jove, much-wandering, terrible and strong,
To whom revenge and tortures dire belong.
Mankind from thee, in plenteous wealth abound,
When in their dwellings joyful thou art found;
Or pass through life afflicted and distressed,
The needful means of bliss by thee supprest.
‘Tis thine alone endued with boundless might,
To keep the keys of sorrow and delight.
O holy, blessed father, hear my prayer,
Disperse the seeds of life-consuming care;
With favoring mind the sacred rites attend,
And grant my days a glorious, blessed end.
Men should use “Jove”, while women should use “Juno”. Alternatively, if you know it and can make it fit the meter, use the name of your genius.