Splendor Solis V: To Apollo and the Sun


The Sun’s resplendent deity I sing, The beauteous offspring of almighty Jove, Who, thro’ the vivifying solar fount Within his fabricative mind conceal’d, A triad form’d of splendid solar gods; From whence the world’s all-various forms emerg’d From mystic darkness into beauteous light, Perfect, and full of intellectual goods. Hail! Supermundane king of light divine, And fairest image of the unknown good: For, as the light proceeding from the one, The god of gods, and beauty’s matchless flower, Intelligibles, with deific rays Occult, illumes; so from Apollo’s beams Exulting glorious through harmonic power, The mental world with elevating light Is fill’d exub’rant: and th’ apparent Sun Largely diffuses thro’ the world of sense, Light, all-prolific, beautiful, divine. To thee, as bright Apollo, it belongs All multitude in union to collect, And many natures generate from one; With vigour in thy essence to convolve The diff’rent ranks of secondary forms; And thro’ one fair hyparxis to combine

All-various essences and fertile powers. ‘Tis thine, from multitude exempt, t’ inspire In forms subordinate, prophetic truth; For truth and pure simplicity are one: And of preserving unpolluted power, Thy liberated essence is the source. Fam’d mystic bards of old, in sacred song, By thee inspir’d, as th’ arrow-darting god, Constant invok’d thee, with resistless sway, Because thy vig’rous beams like arrows pierce, And totally, whate’er of measure void the world Inordinate or dark contains, destroy. And last, thy revolution is the sign Of motion, harmonizing into one The various natures of this mighty whole. Thy first bright Monad hence, illustrious god, Enunciates truth and intellectual light; That light, which in the essence of the gods, Subsists with rays uniting and unknown. Thy second, ev’ry thing confus’d destroys: And from thy third, the universe is bound In beauteous symmetry and just consent, Thro’ splendid reasons and harmonic power. Add, that thy essence, ‘midst the mundane gods, A super-mundane order is assign’d; An unbegotten and supreme command O’er all the ranks of generated forms; And In the ever-flowing realms of sense, An intellectual dignity of sway. Progression two-fold, hence, to thee belongs,– One in conjunction with the mundane gods, The other supernat’ral and unknown: For when the Demiurgus form’d the world, He kindled in the solar sphere a light, Unlike the splendour of the other orbs, Drawn from his nature’s most occult retreats, A symbol fair of intellectual forms; And openly announcing as it shines To ev’ry part of this amazing whole, The essence solitary and arcane

Of all the ruling, supermundane gods. Hence too, when first thy beams the world adorn’d The mundane gods were ravish’d at the sight; And round thy orb, with emulative zeal And symphony divine, desir’d to dance, And draw abundant from thy fontal light. ‘Tie thine by heat apparent to exalt Corporeal natures from the sluggish earth, Inspiring vivid, vegetative power; And by a nature secretly divine, And from the base alloy of matter free, Inherent in thy all-productive rays, Thou draw’st to union with thy wond’rous form, Exalted souls, that In dark Hyle’s realms Indignant struggle for the courts of. light: All beauteous, seven-rayed, supermundane god! Whose mystic essence secretly emits The splendid fountains of celestial light. For ‘midst the ruling, super-mundane gods A solar world, and total light subsists; A light, which as a fertile monad shines Superior to the three corporeal worlds. By sacred Oracles of old, ‘tie said, Thy glorious orb beyond the starry sphere And in the last etherial world revolves. But in thy course, harmoniously divine, Thy orb, quadruply intersects these worlds; And then twelve powers of radiant gods displays, Thro’ twelve divisions of the zone oblique. And still abundant in productive might, Each into three of diff’rent ranks divides. Hence, from the fourfold elegance and grace Of times and seasons, by thy course produc’d, Mankind a triple benefit receive, The circling Graces’ never-failing gift. All-bounteous god, by whom the soul is freed Prom Generation’s dark corporeal bands, Assist THY OFFSPRING, borne on mental wings, Beyond the reach of guileful Nature’s hands Swift to ascend, and gain thy beauteous world. The subtle vestment of my soul refine, Etherial, firm, and full of sacred light, Her ancient vehicle by thee assign’d; In which invelop’d, thro’ the starry orbs, Urg’d’ by the Impulse of insane desire,

She fail’d precipitate, till Lethe’s shore, Involv’d in night, unhappily she touch’d, And lost all knowledge of her pristine state: O best of gods, blest dæmon crown’d with fire, My soul’s sure refuge in the hour of woe, My port paternal in the courts of light, Hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, The punishment incurr’d by pristine guilt, Thro’ Lethe’s darkness and terrene desire: And if for long-extended years I’m doom’d In these drear realms Heav’n’s exile to remain, Oh! grant me soon the necessary means To gain that good which solitude confers On souls emerging from the bitter waves Of fraudful Hyle’s black, impetuous flood. That thus retiring from the vulgar herd, And impious converse of the present age, My soul may triumph o’er her natal ills; And oft with thee In blissful union join’d Thro’ energy Ineffable, may soar Beyond the highest super-mundane forms; And in the vestibule supreme survey, Emerging from th’ intelligible deep, Beauty’s transcendent, solitary Sun.

 – Emperor Julian


3 thoughts on “Splendor Solis V: To Apollo and the Sun

  1. Heliocentrism in Antiquity. Impressive, and really changes your perspective of our forebears knowledge of the universe – and not less, their sensitivity for beauty.

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