To Thee at evening gray

VIII. (68-79).
To Thee at evening gray,
To Thee at growth of day,
To Thee at noon, to Thee at vesper hour,
And when now fades the light,
And poured forth is the night,
(Both night and day are Thine, and show Thy power),
I sing, O Healer of the soul,
And of the body too: Thou only mak’st it whole.

II. (10-17).
And wisdom’s spring Thou art,
And dost of it impart;
And Thou dost drive diseases far away,
And unto souls dost give
Untroubled life to live,
Which earthly care may not stamp down nor sway,
Who mother is of pain and woe,
And all the thousand ills that culminate below.

III. (18-27).
From which O grant to me
My life be ever free!
That I may praise in thankful hymn and song
The hidden Root of all,
Nor severed be, nor fall
From God, through ills that to this world belong.
To Thee, O Father Blessèd, I will sing,
Who art of this great universe the glorious King.

IV. (28-37).
Hushed be the world, and still,
While I my task fulfil,
And lift to Thee, Supreme, the hymn divine;
And while my prayers I pour,
Let all on earth adore!
For earth, and all her workmanship, is Thine.
Let blustering winds their tumults cease,
And rustling trees and shrill-voiced birds be all at peace.

V. (38-48).
Let ether listener be
To holy psalmody:
Let air be silent too: and rapid streams
Adown the earth that pour,
And waves that lash the shore,
Let all be stayed, as it in prayer beseems.
And demon foes to holy strain,
Who haunt recesses dark, and in the tombs remain;

VI. (49-59)
Fly they–far, far away–
While I my offerings pay:
But all the good, throughout creation’s range,
The happy ones who serve,
Nor from the precepts swerve
Of the Great Parent, now in interchange
Of holy thought and mind may they
Befriend, and upward these my hymns and prayers convey!

VII. (60-67).
The One, the only One,
The Father Thou alone,
The One beginning whence all else began;
The Fount whence all founts flow,
The Root whence all roots grow;
The Good whence good in all its channels ran;
The Star that to all stars gave birth;
The World whence sprang all worlds from highest heaven to earth.

VIII. (68-79).
The Form of all forms known:
All beauty is Thine own:
The hidden Seed, the ages’ Parent Prop:
Of worlds intelligent
The Father, whence forth sent
Ambrosial Breath, and floating drop by drop
Upon embodied bulk, combines
A second world, which in reflected glory shines.

IX. (80-88).
O Blessèd, Thee I praise,
Or whether voice I raise,
Or solemn silence keep; for to Thine ear
Not more the uttered speech
Than Mind’s still voice doth reach:
Unuttered though the word, yet Thou dost hear.
With Thee I praise the First-born One,
The First-sprung Light, Thine own Begotten only Son.

X. (89-95).
Thou Lord of power and might,
Light of the Father light,
Of the Ineffable the glorious Word;
With the great Father Thee
I hymn in unity;
And Holy Spirit too in blest accord,
Who did Himself divinely spring
Forth from the Father and through Thee, with Thee I sing.

XI. (96-109).
True counsel He unfolds
And middle rule1515Middle Rule. See note on line 57, Ode V. He holds:
Breath holy! Spur of Father, Spur of Son!
Self-Parent, and Self-Kin,
Self-nurtured Root within,
The Uncreated, Unbegotten One.
The Eternal glory is out-poured
Upon the Son: through whom forth springs the Spirit Lord.

XII. (110-124).
God and of God is He,
Mid light in Trinity.
Thee Trinity and Unity we name;
For Thou art Three, yet One,
The Father, Spirit, Son:
Though severed, yet unsevered, One the same.
Forth went the Son to do Thy will,
And yet with Thee the Father He remaineth still.

XIII. (125-135).
Thy rule to bear He goes,
And upon worlds bestows,
Whence He Himself received, life’s happy store.
The Word! to Thee I raise
With the Great Father, praise.
The Mind of the Ineffable, before
All worlds, did Thee beget; and Thou
Begotten art the Father’s Word, to whom all bow!

XIV. (136-146).
Thou first from the first Root
Didst spring, the glorious Shoot;
And since Thy birth all things have birth from Thee.
The Eternal One, the Seed
Of all things, so decreed,
That Thou, first-sown, the Seed of all shouldst be.
For Thou dost all in all fulfil;
And ’tis by Thee that nature lived and liveth still;

XV. (147-159).
Where she is highest seen,
Where in the ranks between,
Where lowest: all good gifts of quickening powers
From God the Father she
Doth taste and hold through Thee.
Guided by Thee, this ageless sphere of ours
Turns her strong wheels on easy poles,
And seventh in the dance of stars unwearied rolls.

XVI. (160-170).
The many lights on high
One surface beautify
In Thy great world: for Thou dost so ordain:
And Thou, God’s glorious Son,
Didst make the ages run,
And in unbroken course dost them sustain.
All in this globe Thou dost survey,
And all in circuit tend; and all Thy laws obey.

XVII. (171-180).
And in the depths of sky
Unfathomed we descry
Thy ruling hand and power; for it is there
That Thou the stars dost lead,
And in Light’s pastures feed
The glittering host, with a true Shepherd’s care.
To all in heaven, in earth, below,
Thou dost their tasks assign, and life on all bestow.

XVIII. (181-192).
To gods and mortal kind,
Whoe’er have quaffed of mind,
By kindly fate, the intellectual shower,
Thou Lord and Steward art:
And soul Thou dost impart
To those whose life hath nought but soul for dower,
And nature’s unrestrained control
For hangs on Thee the growth of even eyeless soul.

XIX. (193-212).
And things that lack Thy breath
Are yet upheld from death;
For Thou hast linked them to the One Supreme:
Whence flows to earth by Thee
Life’s channel still kept free
Through trackless worlds; and the descending stream
Of good doth mould this world of ours
To form of unseen world of highest mental powers.

XX. (213-226).
A second sun hath shone
This lower world upon:
Parent of later light: and bright-eyed lord
Of what doth live to-day,
To-morrow to decay,
Base matter: he doth yet to us afford
All world-born good, by Thy decree;
And is, O Thou God-born, type visible of Thee.

XXI. (227-237).
Beyond mind’s utmost reach,
Beyond all power of speech,
Ineffable, unknown, O Father dread!
Thou art of mind the Mind,
Of souls the Soul combined,
Of natures all Thou art the Fountain-head.
Behold! Thy servant bends the knee,
And down on earth a poor blind suppliant falls to Thee.

XXII. (238-250).
But Thou the light dost give,
The light for mind to live;
To suppliant soul, O Bless’d, pity show:
Diseases chase away,
And cares the soul which slay,
And shameless earthly dog, and fiendish foe:
Far from my soul and from my prayer,
Far from my life and deeds, chase every hurtful snare.

XXIII. (252-259).
Armed may my body be
Against the enemy,
And armed my spirit, and whate’er is mine;
Nor may he entrance find
Within my heart or mind.
Out be he cast, and out, by help Divine,
Remain, and leave me, and take flight,
The worldly fiend, who gives to passions strength and might.

XXIV. (260-274).
And who obstructs the road
Which upward leads to God;
And quencheth aspiration’s holy flame.
But, O great King, give me,
Companion meet to be,
An angel of Thine own, of holy name,
Of holy aid, an angel friend,
Who may God-lighted prayer, and all good deeds defend.

XXV. (275-280).
A guardian may he be
Of soul and life to me,
And to my prayer and deeds protection yield;
My body may he save
From trouble’s rushing wave,
And sickness; and from harm my spirit shield,
And o’er my soul oblivion pour
Of earthly passions which disturbed my peace before.

XXVI. (281-290).
So may I spend my life
All calm and free from strife!
So may my soul, in hymning Thy high praise,
Mount up with strengthened wing
From earth, and heavenward spring!
So may I cleanse from worldliness my ways,
Till I, set free from earth-bound chain,
No longer subject am to Fate’s imperious reign;

XXVII. (291-299).
But gain those halls above,
And Thy blest folds of love,
Whence forth doth flow the fountain of the soul!
But Thou propitious be,
And helping hand give me!
Call me, O Blessèd! all my ways control!
Hear Thou Thy humble suppliant’s cry,
And lift my soul from earth to native realms on high!

Translator: Allen W. Chatfield
Author: Synesius of Cyrene, Bishop of Ptolemais

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