Translated by H.G. Eveyln-White
Part 2 (116-206)
(ll. 116-138) Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next
wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all (4) the
deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim
Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros (Love),
fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and
overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men
within them. From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but
of Night were born Aether (5) and Day, whom she conceived and
bare from union in love with Erebus. And Earth first bare starry
Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be
an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought
forth long Hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs who dwell
amongst the glens of the hills. She bare also the fruitless deep
with his raging swell, Pontus, without sweet union of love. But
afterwards she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus,
Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis
and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After
them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her
children, and he hated his lusty sire.
(ll. 139-146) And again, she bare the Cyclopes, overbearing in
spirit, Brontes, and Steropes and stubborn-hearted Arges (6), who
gave Zeus the thunder and made the thunderbolt: in all else they
were like the gods, but one eye only was set in the midst of
their fore-heads. And they were surnamed Cyclopes (Orb-eyed)
because one orbed eye was set in their foreheads. Strength and
might and craft were in their works.
(ll. 147-163) And again, three other sons were born of Earth and
Heaven, great and doughty beyond telling, Cottus and Briareos and
Gyes, presumptuous children. From their shoulders sprang an
hundred arms, not to be approached, and each had fifty heads upon
his shoulders on their strong limbs, and irresistible was the
stubborn strength that was in their great forms. For of all the
children that were born of Earth and Heaven, these were the most
terrible, and they were hated by their own father from the first.
And he used to hide them all away in a secret place of Earth so
soon as each was born, and would not suffer them to come up into
the light: and Heaven rejoiced in his evil doing. But vast Earth
groaned within, being straitened, and she made the element of
grey flint and shaped a great sickle, and told her plan to her
dear sons. And she spoke, cheering them, while she was vexed in
her dear heart:
(ll. 164-166) `My children, gotten of a sinful father, if you
will obey me, we should punish the vile outrage of your father;
for he first thought of doing shameful things.'
(ll. 167-169) So she said; but fear seized them all, and none of
them uttered a word. But great Cronos the wily took courage and
answered his dear mother:
(ll. 170-172) `Mother, I will undertake to do this deed, for I
reverence not our father of evil name, for he first thought of
doing shameful things.'
(ll. 173-175) So he said: and vast Earth rejoiced greatly in
spirit, and set and hid him in an ambush, and put in his hands a
jagged sickle, and revealed to him the whole plot.
(ll. 176-206) And Heaven came, bringing on night and longing for
love, and he lay about Earth spreading himself full upon her (7).
Then the son from his ambush stretched forth his left hand and in
his right took the great long sickle with jagged teeth, and
swiftly lopped off his own father's members and cast them away to
fall behind him. And not vainly did they fall from his hand; for
all the bloody drops that gushed forth Earth received, and as the
seasons moved round she bare the strong Erinyes and the great
Giants with gleaming armour, holding long spears in their hands
and the Nymphs whom they call Meliae (8) all over the boundless
earth. And so soon as he had cut off the members with flint and
cast them from the land into the surging sea, they were swept
away over the main a long time: and a white foam spread around
them from the immortal flesh, and in it there grew a maiden.
First she drew near holy Cythera, and from there, afterwards, she
came to sea-girt Cyprus, and came forth an awful and lovely
goddess, and grass grew up about her beneath her shapely feet.
Her gods and men call Aphrodite, and the foam-born goddess and
rich-crowned Cytherea, because she grew amid the foam, and
Cytherea because she reached Cythera, and Cyprogenes because she
was born in billowy Cyprus, and Philommedes (9) because sprang
from the members. And with her went Eros, and comely Desire
followed her at her birth at the first and as she went into the
assembly of the gods. This honour she has from the beginning,
and this is the portion allotted to her amongst men and undying
gods, -- the whisperings of maidens and smiles and deceits with
sweet delight and love and graciousness.
Hesiod - Theogony Table of Contents