So I’ve been playing around with metres lately, and it occurred to me that it might be fitting to fashion the metre of a particular hymn so that its cadence would be particularly evocative of the genius of the deity to whom it is offered. Below I have tried this in a hymn to Mercury. I make absolutely no claims that this is great poetry, but try reading the below aloud—I think the syncopation of the metrical scheme I came up with works rather well for Mercury. And see if you can do a stanza or two better than me!
O god on whom the lofty firmament smiles
and who, in travellers’ garb, adventure seeks
on paths that, profaned by no mortal’s meandering,
welcome the certain and swift tread of a god.
Quick-witted, keen of eye, appraising the road,
you flit, alight, and again resume your course.
Encountering vistas and monuments thrills you
just like the savour of new words on the tongue.
Each twist and turn of every road is your haunt
no less than lofty Cyllene nor the Dôme—
wherever the voyager roams, you are true lord.
Mercury, fleet as the wind, wanderer, hail!
I praise you, noble traveller, purpose in your step,
undaunted herald of deathless gods’ decrees.
Receive now with favour the gifts that I make you:
happy am I to fulfil duly my vow.