Blest Pæan, come, propitious to my pray’r,
illustrious pow’r, whom Memphian tribes revere,
Slayer of Tityus, and the God of health,
Lycorian Phœbus, fruitful source of wealth .
Spermatic, golden-lyr’d, the field from thee
receives it’s constant, rich fertility.
Titanic, Grunian, Smynthian, thee I sing,
Python-destroying, hallow’d, Delphian king:
Rural, light-bearer, and the Muse’s head,
noble and lovely, arm’d with arrows dread:
Far-darting, Bacchian, two-fold, and divine,
pow’r far diffused, and course oblique is thine.
O, Delian king, whose light-producing eye
views all within, and all beneath the sky:
Whose locks are gold, whose oracles are sure,
who, omens good reveal’st, and precepts pure:
Hear me entreating for the human kind,
hear, and be present with benignant mind;
For thou survey’st this boundless æther all,
and ev’ry part of this terrestrial ball
Abundant, blessed; and thy piercing sight,
extends beneath the gloomy, silent night;
Beyond the darkness, starry-ey’d, profound,
the stable roots, deep fix’d by thee are found.
The world’s wide bounds, all-flourishing are thine,
thyself all the source and end divine:
‘Tis thine all Nature’s music to inspire,
with various-sounding, harmonising lyre;
Now the last string thou tun’ft to sweet accord,
divinely warbling now the highest chord;
Th’ immortal golden lyre, now touch’d by thee,
responsive yields a Dorian melody.
All Nature’s tribes to thee their diff’rence owe,
and changing seasons from thy music flow
Hence, mix’d by thee in equal parts, advance
Summer and Winter in alternate dance;
This claims the highest, that the lowest string,
the Dorian measure tunes the lovely spring .
Hence by mankind, Pan-royal, two-horn’d nam’d,
emitting whistling winds thro’ Syrinx fam’d;
Since to thy care, the figur’d seal’s consign’d,
which stamps the world with forms of ev’ry kind.
Hear me, blest pow’r, and in these rites rejoice,
and save thy mystics with a suppliant voice.
Looking at this Hymn, you can see the importance of Apollo to the Orphic worldview. The Hymn contains the largest number of epithets of the god in question of all of the Orphic hymns that I have seen. It also is an indication that at this point Apollo was beginning to be conflated with Helios (even though there is also an Orphic Hymn to Helios). He is said to have a “light-producing eye” and the ability to see what amounts to everything because his piercing sight extends beyond the darkest night and can see every part of this terrestrial ball.
He is also discussed in musical terms as the head of the Muses and speaks of his lyre yielding a Dorian melody (which is a classical form of music). This is combined with his (apparent) solar connection by him supposedly being able to control nature and the seasons with his music. However, one of the most interesting things to me is that although he is called “Delphic King” is that there are only two lines in this hymn that directly speak to him in his oracular capacity even though (like other hymns) this one ends with a line about his mystics.
It seems to me that the Orphic view is defined in terms of the different mysteries associated with different Gods…..