Adsis

Hendrick Goltzius, Apollo (2)
Hendrick Goltzius, Apollo

Phoebe parens, seu te Lyciae Pataraea nivosis
exercent dumeta iugis, seu rore pudico
Castaliae flavos amor est tibi mergere crines,
seu Troiam Thymbraeus habes, ubi fama volentem
ingratis Phrygios umeris subiisse molares,
seu iuvat Aegaeum feriens Latonius umbra
Cynthus et assiduam pelago non quaerere Delon:
tela tibi longeque feros lentandus in hostes
arcus et aetherii dono cessere parentis
aeternum florere genas; tu doctus iniquas
Parcarum praenosse manus fatumque quod ultra est
et summo placitura Iovi, quis letifer annus,
bella quibus populis, quae mutent sceptra cometae;
tu Phryga submittis citharae, tu matris honori
terrigenam Tityon Stygiis extendis harenis;
te viridis Python Thebanaque mater ovantem
horruit in pharetris, ultrix tibi torva Megaera
ieiunum Phlegyan subter cava saxa iacentem
aeterno premit accubitu dapibusque profanis
instimulat, sed mixta famem fastidia vincunt:
adsis o memor hospitii, Iunoniaque arva
dexter ames, seu te roseum Titana vocari
gentis Achaemeniae ritu, seu praestat Osirim
frugiferum, seu Persei sub rupibus antri
indignata sequi torquentem cornua Mithram.
(Statius, Theb. 1.696-720)

Phoebus, Parent—whether Patara’s* thickets keep You
busy on Lycia’s snowy slopes; or it’s Your desire to
rinse Your golden curls in Castalia’s pure spring water;
or, as Thymbra’s Lord, You dwell in Troy where, they say,
You bore on Your shoulders, unthanked, blocks of Phrygian stone;
or whether You favor Leto’s Cynthus, which casts its shadow
across the Aegean, or Delos, anchored, adrift no more—
Yours the barbs and bow dealing death from afar to fierce
foes, on You did celestial parents bestow a face
ever in bloom and the skill to know in advance the Spinners’
uneven handiwork and the fate that lies beyond,
and what Jove Most High intends, which year death will strike,
which nations will go to war, which scepters comets will change;
You made the Phrygian kneel to Your lyre; for Your mother’s
honor, stretched earth-born Tityos out on Stygian sands;
green Python—the Theban mother too—shook to see You
vaunting Your archer’s success; to avenge You, grim Megaera
keeps famished Phlegyas*** pinned deep under cavernous rock,
forever at table and tortured with banquet dishes defiled
so his hunger’s first mixed with, then killed by disgust**:—
be near us, remember we made You welcome, bless Juno’s
land and be kind, whether it’s right to invoke You as ‘rose-red
Titan,’ in Achaemenian litany, or as ‘Osiris,
Lord of Harvest,’ or – thinking how, deep in Persean rock-caves,
He wrangles headstrong bulls—should we invoke You as ‘Mithras’?

* Patara: principal city of Lycia and site of a famous oracle of Apollo, as are the following four sites.
** 709-715: A list of some of the god’s more prominent exploits; the Phrygian: Marysas; Your mother: Leto; the Theban mother: Niobê.
*** Phlegyas, father of Ixion, here receives punishments usually assigned to others, namely to Tantalus and Phineus, whose banquet was defiled by monstrous bird-women known as Harpies.

(tr. Jane Wilson Joyce, with her notes)

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