Antinous for Everybody

Hymn XXVI: To Antinous Heros

A hero among heroes we hail you, Antinous,
noble youth, exemplar of virtues.
Surpassing in beauty, noted for strength,
loyal to your loves, beloved above all,
your death Hadrian mourned,
your eternal life we celebrate.
Wise with the innocence of youth,
joyous and vital in life, in death
you are wiser still and
a vital, protecting presence.
Fairest of boys, a flower plucked
just at the moment before its full blossom,
look kindly on us who hail you
as one of our own, young, gifted,
queer, passed on too soon,
offspring and ancestor.

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2 thoughts on “Hymn XXVI: To Antinous Heros

  1. Very good! An often unappreciated dimension of Antinous, to be sure…

    Like

    • It occurs to me that it’s more as a hero than as a god that Antinous might be considered an exemplary figure of gayness or queerness; that paradox of being a forerunner but also a young person, not fully adult at the time of his death.

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