February 9: Feast of Apollo
Hail, great Apollo, born of horizon,
singing in bright dawn to maple and oak:
each blade of grass becomes living gnomon,
as each passing day becomes a new spoke
on the year’s wheel spinning its age-old course.
To you, poets raise their gathered voices
and musicians bring offerings of sound;
while you ride above market and concourse,
mortals stand steady or change their choices,
according to truths they have touched and found
beneath the rolling speedster of your Light.
Through you, all creation receives being:
grain and apples ripen beneath your sight.
Recalling ancient gifts of foretelling,
seers and oracles cry aloud your name,
approaching with humble mien your altar.
Help us see our path, far-seeing archer;
our sickened bodies we long to reclaim
from diseases which cause us to falter.
In health and wisdom, become our teacher.
From every mountain height, send out your song
that wakes in each breast a love of beauty
and halts disorder and ethical wrong…
that makes love of light a sacred duty.
Rejoice, Leto’s son, you are remembered,
and though rocky Delos was your first creche,
now in every land there are sacred groves,
and shrines, too, well-built and many-chambered,
where love of healing and poetry mesh,
and prophecies are stored in golden troves.