STOIC PHILOSOPHY


Cleanthes' Hymn to Zeus



Most glorious of the Immortals, many named, Almighty forever.
Zeus, ruler of Nature, that governest all things with law.
Hail! for lawful it is that all mortals should address Thee.
For we are Thy offspring, taking the image only of Thy voice,
as many mortal things as live and move upon the earth.
Therefore I will hymn Thee, and sing Thy might forever.
For Thee doth all this universe that circles round the earth obey, moving
whithtersoever Thou leadest, and is gladly swayed by Thee.
Such a minister hast Thou in Thine invincible hands;
-the two-edged blazing, imperishable thunderbolt.
For under its stroke all Nature shuddereth, and by it thou guidest aright the Universal Reason, that roams throught all things, mingling itself with the greater and the lesser lights, till it have grown so great, and become supreme king over all.
Nor is aught done on the earth without Thee, O God,
nor in the divine sphere of the heavens, not in the sea,
Save the works that eveil men do in their folly -
Yea, but Thou knowest even to find a place for the superfluous things, and to order that which is disorderly, and things not dear to men are dear to Thee.
Thus dost Thou harmonize into One all good and evil things, that there should be one
everlasting Reason of them all.
And this the evil among mortal men avoid and heed not;
wretched ever desiring to possess the good, yet they nei'er see nor hear the universal law of God,
which obeying with all their heart, their life would be well.
But they rush graceless each to his aim,
Some cherish lust for fame, the nurse of evil strife,
Some bent on monstrous gain,
Some turned to folly and the sweet works of the flesh,
Hastening, indeed, to bring the very contrary of these things to pass.
But Thou, O Zeus, the All-giver, Dweller in the darkeness of cloud,
Lord of thunder, save Thou men from their unhappy folly,
Which do Thou, O Father, scatter from their souls; and give them discover the wisdom,
in whose assurance Thou governest all things with justice;
So that being honored, they may pay Thee honer,
Hymning Thy works continually, as it beseems a mortal man.
Since there can be no greater glory for men of Gods than this,
Duly to praise forever the Universl Law.


Translated by.....T.W. Rolleston


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