Hymn to Apollo

By Shane Devine

“The father of Psyche sacrificing at the Temple of Apollo” by Claude Lorrain, 1663

O god of Sun! We call your busy rays,
Perfecting Earth on Spring’s sublime debut,
Upon this lawn of land within the gaze
Of marble thick and bold portraying You.

We gather strong and healthy oxen babes,
Who praise your brill’iance for the grass they chew,
Together at this altar, bright and gay,
Both they and we prepared to pay what’s due.

You stayed with us throughout the winter days
That froze our souls and made our fingers blue
While the rest went on their separate ways:
No leaf, no lake, and not a bird to coo.

– But Life returns! O god, how you amaze;
Your winning breath creates the world anew.
Revive our souls as you direct your blaze
Upon the crags and bid the cold adieu.