To Jupiter-Sarapis

Justly do men speak of you as the lord of the luminous
upper Heaven, where none but the noble eagle may fly,
proud father of Gods and men, whose all-seeing eye takes
inventory of the exceptional deeds of illustrious men like Alexander
the Great who sought your oracular blessing before founding the
eternal city that bears his name by the shores of the life-giving
river, or Vespasian who was raised from the rank of a common
soldier to rule the whole world and performed miraculous feats in
Alexandria through your power, healing the blind and even
raising the dead back to life. Such things seem beyond credible, but I know
all things are possible for a man who has the Gods on his side.
Prayer and worthy sacrifices move the hearts of the Gods to
increase the blessings of the pious, and none are more generous than Jupiter-
Sarapis who wears the double-crown of Egypt and wields the fiery
bolt of lightning to drive back the enemies of the
empire, keeping it strong and prosperous. From the Mediterranean
sea to the forests of Germany, the
towering peaks of Parnassos to the plains of the horse-riding Scythians –
all this has been forged into a single kingdom with you at the head.
Nowhere remains ignorant of you; innumerable are your temples and the
diverse populations call upon you, each in their own tongue,
glorifying your name for the good things you have done. You send the
rain that makes our crops grow so that mothers will have
enough food to fill the hungry bellies of their children.
And you taught men just laws so that we could get along with each other, and
through you we learned to reverence the ancestors and for
each man to care for his mother and father like the Gods.
Science, too, you instilled in our hearts, a
thirst to know all the secrets of Heaven and Earth, and what lies
beneath the surface, never satisfied with the simple answer.
Love of freedom you set within us as well, from your Greek name
eleutherios Zeus, that we may hate the tyrant and
shun his cruel ways, accepting only the yoke of justice
so easy to bear, for it has been fashioned by
the Gods who know the best way for man to live
his life, the middle course, avoiding
every extreme, both violent anarchy and slavish submission.
Most of all, however, you are honored for the concern you show the dead
and the mysteries you have wrought to guide us safely through the
nether realms. Through these rites our souls are purified of the sins
which each of us have committed, and we are shown
hallowed images that awaken within us a recollection of
our true nature and the divinity that
resides within our breast. We are filled with the
energy that makes possible our triumph over the underworld foes,
causing us to shine brightly as the stars in heaven. This is what your
initiates have to look forward to, and why we say
that Jupiter-Sarapis is great, three times great, and the most
excellent among the Gods!
Songs of praise for you never cause my tongue to
tire, nor my mind to grow weary of inventing new ways to
honor you, but
I must bring this particular hymn to a close.
Still, I shall remember you again with another one soon.

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