Hymn for Pallas Athena


Hymn for Pallas Athena
December 4

Hail, bright Athena, in armor and helm,
triumphant over ignorance and fear:
By knowledge all falsehood you overwhelm.
You began as buzzing in Zeus’ ear,
but soon became migraines of monstrous force.
There Memory forged tools fit for your hand,
and Artist first made wisdom manifest.
Yet you strived alone with the Sea-borne Horse,
to win a high-seat where you tree could stand.
In arts peaceful and martial, you are best.

Arachne dared claim more skillful weaving;
Odysseus bowed low with humbled eye.
now she casts nets of eight-legged making;
he’s the first immortal in poetry.
Phidias built your temple with curving lines,
Praxiteles brought your image to life.
Cleisthenes disbursed you to the people.
Collections of books have become your shrines;
you are our comforter in times of grief.
Classrooms are your invisible temple.

Lady, enrich us with mentors and friends,
the shining treasures of youth and old age;
and guide our footsteps toward positive ends,
toward thoughtful action and away from rage.
Gift us with insight, to see what may rise
from each pondered deed, be it great or small—
and bravery to act, where required.
Help us to discern deep truth among lies,
to be fierce in evil’s face, and walk tall–
bearing Wisdom’s lamp as if inspired.

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