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Eupolis’ Hymn to the Creator11Wesley inserted this poem in “Moral and Sacred Poems,” vol. 3, p.3, assigning it to his father as its author. He also reprinted it in the first volume of the Arminian Magazine. When the Monthly Reviewers disparaged Methodist hymns, he transcribed fifty lines of it, and sent them with a remonstrance against the criticism. (Works, 3rd edition, vol. 13, pp.345-349.) In some editions the verses are headed “From the Greek;” but Dr. Clarke has shown that this is an error. The copy printed in his “Wesley Family” contains eighty-four additional lines; but Wesley never published more than are given here.
With unfading beauties bright,
Fulness, Goodness, rolling round
Thy own fair orb without a bound:
Whether Thee Thy suppliants call
Truth, or Good, or One, or All,
Ei or Iao; Thee we hail
Essence that can never fail,
Grecian or Barbaric name,
Thy steadfast Being still the same.
Thee, when morning greets the skies
With rosy cheeks and humid eyes;
Thee, when sweet-declining day
Sinks in purple waves away;
Thee will I sing, O Parent Jove,
And teach the world to praise and love.
Yonder azure vault on high,
Yonder blue, low, liquid sky,
Earth on its firm basis placed,
And with circling waves embraced,
All, Creating Power confess,
All their mighty Maker bless.
Thou shak’st all Nature with Thy nod,
Sea, earth, and air confess the God:
Yet does Thy powerful hand sustain
Both earth and heaven, both firm and main.
Scarce can our daring thought arise
To Thy pavilion in the skies;
Nor can Plato’s self declare
The bliss, the joy, the rapture there.
Barren above Thou dost not reign,
But circled with a glorious train,
The Sons of God, the Sons of Light,
Ever joying in Thy sight:
(For Thee their silver harps are strung,)
Ever beauteous, ever young,
Angelic forms their voices raise,
And through heaven’s arch resound Thy praise.
The feather’d souls that swim the air,
And bathe in liquid ether there,
The lark, precentor of their choir
Leading them higher still and higher,
Listen and learn; the angelic notes
Repeating in their warbling throats;
And, ere to soft repose they go,
Teach them to their lords below
On the green turf, their mossy nest,
The evening anthem swells their breast.
Thus, like Thy golden chain from high,
Thy praise unites the earth and sky.
Source of Light, Thou bidst the sun
On his burning axles run;
The stars like dust around him fly,
And strew the area of the sky.
He drives so swift his race above,
Mortals can’t perceive him move:
So smooth his course, oblique or straight,
Olympus shakes not with his weight.
As the queen of solemn night
Fills at his vase her orb of light,
Imparted lustre; thus we see,
The solar virtue shines by Thee.
Eiresione we’ll no more,
Imaginary Power, adore;
Since oil, and wool, and cheering wine,
And life-sustaining bread is Thine.
Thy herbage, O great Pan, sustains
The flocks that graze our Attic plains;
The olive, with fresh verdure crown’d,
Rises pregnant from the ground;
At Thy command it shoots and springs,
And a thousand blessings brings.
Minerva, only is Thy mind,
Wisdom, and bounty to mankind.
The fragrant thyme, the bloomy rose,
Herb and flower and shrub that grows
On Thessalian Tempe’s plain,
Or where the rich Sabeans reign,
That treat the taste or smell or sight,
For food, for medicine, or delight;
Planted by Thy parent care,
Spring and smile and flourish there.
O ye nurses of soft dreams,
Reedy brooks and winding streams,
Or murmuring o’er the pebbles sheen,
Or sliding through the meadows green,
Or where through matted sedge you creep,
Travelling to your parent deep:
Sound His praise, by whom you rose,
That Sea which neither ebbs nor flows.
O ye immortal woods and groves,
Which the enamour’d student loves;
Beneath whose venerable shade,
For thought and friendly converse made,
Famed Hecadem, old hero, lies,
Whose shrine is shaded from the skies,
And through the gloom of silent night
Projects from far its trembling light;
You, whose roots descend as low
As high in air your branches grow;
Your leafy arms to heaven extend,
Bend your heads, in homage bend:
Cedars and pines that wave above,
And the oak beloved of Jove.
Omen, monster, prodigy,
Or nothing are, or, Jove, from Thee!
Whether various Nature play,
Or re-inversed Thy will obey,
And to rebel man declare
Famine, plague, or wasteful war.
Laugh, ye profane, who dare despise
The threatening vengeance of the skies,
Whilst the pious, on his guard,
Undismay’d is still prepared
Life or death, his mind’s at rest,
Since what Thou send’st must needs be best.
No evil can from Thee proceed
’Tis only suffer’d, not decreed.
Darkness is not from the sun,
Nor mount the shades till he is gone:
Then does night obscene arise
From Erebus, and fill the skies,
Fantastic forms the air invade,
Daughters of nothing and of shade.
Can we forget Thy guardian care,
Slow to punish, prone to spare?
Thou brak’st the haughty Persian’s pride,
That dared old ocean’s power deride;
Their shipwrecks strew’d the Eubean wave,
At Marathon they found a grave.
O ye blest Greeks who there expired,
For Greece with pious ardour fired,
What shrines or altars shall we raise
To secure your endless praise?
Or need we monuments supply,
To rescue what can never die?
And yet a greater Hero far
(Unless great Socrates could err)
Shall rise to bless some future day,
And teach to live, and teach to pray.
Come, unknown Instructor, come!
Our leaping hearts shall make Thee room
Thou with Jove our vows shalt share,
Of Jove and Thee we are the care.
O Father King, whose heavenly face
Shines serene on all Thy race,
We Thy magnificence adore,
And Thy well-known aid implore:
Nor vainly for Thy help we call;
Nor can we want: for Thou art All!
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