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game. In commemoration of this illustrious conquest, he instituted the Pythian games, in which the victor in feats of strength, swiftness of foot, or in the chariot race, should be crowned with a wreath of beech-leaves. Apollo brought not only the warm spring and summer, but also the blessings of the harvest. He warded off the dangers and diseases of summer and autumn; and he healed the sick. He was patron of music and of poetry. Through his oracle at Delphi, on the slopes of Parnassus in Phocis, the Pythian god made known the future to those who consulted him. He was a founder of cities,' a promoter of colonization, a giver of good laws, the ideal of fair and manly youth, — a pure and just god, requiring clean hands and pure hearts of those that worshipped him. But though a god of life and peace, the far-darter did not shun the weapons of war. When presumption was to be punished, or wrong righted, he could bend his bow, and slay with the arrows of his sunlight. As in the days of his youth he slew the Python, so, also, he slew the froward Tityus, and so the children of Niobe. While Phæbus Apollo is the Olympian divinity of the sun, fraught with light and healing, spiritual, creative, and prophetic, he must not be confounded with a god of the older dynasty, Helios (offspring of Hyperion, Titanic deity of light), who represented the sun in its daily and yearly course, in its physical rather than spiritual manifestation. The bow of Apollo was bound with laurel in memory of Daphne, whom he loved. To him were sacred, also, many creatures, — the wolf, the roe, the mouse, the he-goat, the ram, the dolphin, and the swan.'
“The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,2
Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries,
1 On the birth of Apollo, his adventures, names, festivals, oracles, and his place in literature and art, see Commentary. For other particulars, see sections on Myths of Apollo.
2 Hymn of Apollo, by P. B. Shelley.
From the broad moonlight of the sky,
Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes, –
“Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's
blue dome, I walk over the mountains and the
waves, Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam; My footsteps pave the clouds with
fire; the caves Are filled with my bright presence, and
the air Leaves the green earth to my embraces
“The sunbeams are my shafts, with which
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray Good minds and open actions take new
might, Until diminished by the reign of night
“I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers
With their ethereal colors; the moon's globe And the pure stars in their eternal bowers
Are cinctured with my power as with a robe; Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine, Are portions of one power, which is mine.
“I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven,
Then with unwilling steps I wander down
For grief that I depart they weep and frown: