THE mighty ruler of this earthly ball,
For ever flowing, to these rites I call;
Martial and blest, unseen by mortal sight,
Preventing fears, and pleas'd with gloomy night:
Hence, fancy's terrors are by thee allay'd, 5
All-various king, who lov'st the desart shade:
Each of thy brothers killing, blood is thine,
Two-fold Curete, many-form'd, divine.
By thee transmuted Ceres' body pure,
Became a dragon's savage and obscure: 10
Avert thy anger, hear me when I pray,
And by fix'd fate, drive fancy's fears away.
169:* The following curious passage is preserved to us by Athenagoras, in Legat. i. pro Christianis; in which Orpheus describes the generation of the celestial or intellectual earth, "But Phanes or Protogonus, produced another dire offspring from his holy womb; the dreadful form of a dragon. It has hairs on its p. 170 head, and a beautiful countenance, but the rest of its body is that of a dragon, tremendous to the view." Now from this passage I conclude that Corybas, in the present Hymn, is the same with Protogonus: for he is celebrated, v. 9, 10. as changing by his arts, the holy body of Ceres (or the earth) into the form of a savage and obscure dragon. And as in the above lines the intellectual earth is represented under the form of a dragon with a beautiful countenance; the sensible earth, which is but the image of the intellectual, may with perfect agreement to this fragment be called an obscure dragon, since obscurity is an apt symbol of a material nature.
Corybas is likewise said, v. 7. to kill his two brothers. Now since Corybas is Protogonus, his two brothers may be considered as Æther and Chaos, whose occult union formed the achytypal egg of thc universe: and Protogonus bursting forth from this egg, and by this means dispersing Æther and Chaos, may be aptly represented under the symbol of Corybas destroying his two brothers. For, according to Proclus, it is customary with divine poets, to imitate the exalted powers of exemplars, by contrary and most remote adumbrations.