Orphic Hymn 11: To Herakles
Adapted from Thomas Taylor’s translation.
Hear, powerful, Herakles untamed and strong, to whom vast hands, and mighty works belong,
Almighty Titan, prudent and benign, of various forms, eternal and divine,
Father of Time, the theme of general praise, ineffable, adored in various ways.
Magnanimous, in divination skilled and in the athletic labors of the field.
‘Tis yours, strong archer, all things to devour, supreme, all-helping, all-producing power;
To you mankind as their deliverer pray, whose arm can chase the savage tribes away:
Unwearied, earth’s best blossom, offspring fair, to whom calm peace, and peaceful works are dear.
Self-born, with primogenial fires you shine, and various names and strength of heart are yours.
Your mighty head supports the morning light, and bears untamed, the silent gloomy night;
From east to west imbued with strength divine, twelve glorious labors to absolve were yours;
Supremely skilled, you reign in heaven’s abodes, yourself a God amidst the immortal Gods.
With arms unshaken, infinite, divine, come, blessed power, and to our rites incline;
The mitigations of disease convey, and drive disastrous maladies away.
Come, shake the branch with your almighty arm, dismiss your darts and noxious fate disarm.