PROTEUS I call, whom Fate decrees, to keep
The keys which lock the chambers of the deep;
First-born, by whose illustrious pow'r alone
All Nature's principles are clearly shewn:
Matter to change with various forms is thine, 5
Matter unform'd, capacious, and divine.
All-honor'd, prudent, whose sagacious mind
Knows all that was, and is, of ev'ry kind,
With all that shall be in succeeding time;
So vast thy wisdom, wond'rous, and sublime: 10
For all things Nature first to thee consign'd,
And in thy essence omniform confin'd.
Come, blessed father, to our rites attend,
And grant our happy lives a prosp'rous end.
149:* According to Proclus, in Plat. Repub. p. 97, Proteus, though inferior to the primary Gods, is immortal: and though not a deity, is a certain angelic mind of the order of Neptune, comprehending in himself all the forms of things generated in the universe.