Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Ares

Ares—exceedingly puissant, oppressor of chariots, golden
Helmeted, savior of garrisons, powerful-spirited, strong-armed
Shield-bearer clad in bronze armor, unwearied Olympian bulwark,
Strength of the javelin, father of Victory, happy in battle,
Ally of Justic and tyrant of enemies, leader of just men,
Sceptered commander of masculine virtue, revolving your fire-bright
Orb through the midst of the sevenfold path of the planets in aether
Where, incandescent, your coursers maintain you above the third orbit—
Listen, defender of humans and giver of flourishing youth, let
Shine a propitious ray from above on the course of our lifetime,
Grant us your martial strength, to the end that I may be enabled
Once and for all to remove wretched cowardice far from my person,
Also to conquer within me the treacherous urge of my spirit;
Help me as well to control the sharp passionate temper provoking
Me to embark upon blood-chilling mayhem, and give me the courage,
Blest, to remain in the comfortable legal prescriptions of peacetime,
Thereby avoiding the conflict of foes and a violent ending.

--Homeric Hymns, trans. Daryl Hine

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