jcooper-chariot of fire apollo

I’ve always liked the Hymn Jerusalem, by William Blake, with music by Hubert Parry.  The tune is lovely, its upbeat and powerful, and  there is some powerful imagery in the words, but the actual sentiments are not really something I can relate to.  I’ve been trying to come up with a spiritually acceptable version of it for quite some time, but have been drawing blanks, then it occurred to me, to adapt an Orphic Hymn to fit the tune, rather than trying to de-Christianise the song.  There are a few lines within the original which have always made me think of Apollohn (Bring me my bow of burning gold.. etc), so I thought the Orphic Hymn to Apollohn would be the best one to fit, as I could keep and adapt some of Blake’s lines, though the rest would be the Orphc Hymn.    So here it is:

Orphic Hymn to Apollohn/Jerusalem mash-up


O Blessed Paean, come to my prayer

Illustrious Power whom we revere.

Slayer of Titys, God of health

Lyconean Phoebus, source of wealth,

Come with Thy countenance divine

Shine forth upon our clouded hills

Beyond the darkness, starry-eyed

Earth’s root is fixed firm by Thy will

With golden lyre, the fields from Thee

Receive their rich fertility

Bearer of light, the Muses head

Noble and lovely, with arrows dread

O Delian King, who’s illumined eye

Views all within, and beneath the sky,

Who’s locks are gold, and oracles sure,

Who’s omens good and precepts pure.

Hear me entreat for human kind

Hear, be present with benign mind

For Thou surveyest the boundless all

And every part of this earthly ball

Abundant blessed, thy piercing sight

Extends beneath the gloomy night

Tis Thine all nature to inspire

With music of Thy harmonizing lyre

All strings now tuned to sweet accord

Divinely reverberate each chord

Immortal lyre, touched by Thee

Yields a Dorian melody

All nature’s tribes, their difference owe

And changing seasons from Thee flow.

Hence mixed by Thee in equal parts

Summer and Winter in alternate dance

Come with Thy bow of burning gold

Come with Thy arrows of desire

Come with Thy lyre, O clouds unfold

Come with Thy chariot of fire

O two-horned God, the winds Thou send

The seal of the cosmos, Thine to tend

Hear me blest Lord, in these rites rejoice

Save Thy mystics with a suppliant voice