Sacred Texts  Classics 
Buy this Book at

Hermes Trismegistus, D. Stolcius von Stolcenberg, Viridarium chymicum, Frankurt [1624] (Public Domain Image)

The Golden Verses of Pythagoras

by Fabre d'Olivet


Contents    Start Reading

Fabre d'Olivet (b. 1768, d. 1825), a French esoteric writer, originally published this book in 1813. The first section, an essay on esoteric Poetics, was dedicated to the Section of Literature of the Imperial Institute of France. The second portion contains the Greek text of the Golden Verses, along with French and English translations. The final part of the book is an extended essay on the Golden Verses.

The Golden Verses are also available at this site in a more recent English translation by Florence Firth.

Note that your browser must be set up to display polytonic Greek and Hebrew Unicode to view this text properly. Full information can be found here.

Title Page
Table of Contents
Translator’s Foreword

Discourse Upon the Essence and Form of Poetry

§ I
§ II
§ IV
§ V
§ VI


The Golden Verses of Pythagoras

Examinations of the Golden Verses

1. The Golden Verses of the Pythagoreans
2. Render to the Immortal Gods the Consecrated Cult; Guard Then Thy Faith
3. Revere the Memory of the Illustrious Heroes, of Spirits Demi-Gods
4. Be a Good Son, Just Brother, Spouse Tender, and Good Father
5. Choose For Thy Friend, the Friend of Virtue...
If Thou Canst at Least: For A Most Rigid Law Binds Power To Necessity
7. Still it is Given Thee to Fight and Overcome Thy Foolish Passions: Learn Thou to Subdue Them
8. Be Sober, Diligent, and Chaste; Avoid All Wrath...
9. Speak Not Nor Act Before Thou Hast Reflected; Be Just
10. Remember That a Power Invincible Ordains to Die
11. That riches and the honours Easily acquired, are easy thus to lose
12. As to the evils which Destiny involves
13. Even as Truth, does Error have its lovers
14. Keep closed both eye and ear ’gainst prejudice
15. Consult, Deliberate, and Freely Choose
16. Let fools act aimlessly and without cause, Thou shouldst, in the present, contemplate the future
17. That which thou dost not know, pretend not that thou dost. Instruct thyself: for time and patience favour all.
18. Neglect not thy health
19. . . . Dispense with moderation, Food to the body, and to the mind repose
20. Too much attention or too little shun; for envy thus, to either excess is alike attached
21. Luxury and avarice have similar results. One must choose in all things a mean just and good.
22. What have I omitted, and what done?
23. Abstain thou if ‘tis evil; persevere if good
24. Meditate Upon My Counsels, Love Them; Follow Them: to the Divine Virtues Will They Know How to Lead Thee
25. The sacred Tetrad
26. Invoke these Gods with fervour
27. Know the Principle and End of All
28. If Heaven Wills It, Thou Shalt Know That Nature, Alike in Everything, Is the Same in Every Place
29. Thine Heart Shall No More Feed On Vain Desires
30. The Evils Which Devour Men Are of Their Choice the Fruit
31. Unfortunates Seek Afar the Goodness Whose Source Within They Bear
32. For few know happiness
33. God! Thou Couldst Save Them by Opening Their Eyes
34. But No: ’Tis For the Humans of a Race Divine, to Discern Error, and to See the Truth
35. Nature serves them
36. Letting Intelligence O’er Thy Body Reign
37. Thou Shalt Be Thyself A God