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Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

Page: 108

(ll. 106-142) Thereupon Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered him: 'Anchises, most glorious of all men born on earth, know that I am no goddess: why do you liken me to the deathless ones? Nay, I am but a mortal, and a woman was the mother that bare me. Otreus of famous name is my father, if so be you have heard of him, and he reigns over all Phrygia rich in fortresses. But I know your speech well beside my own, for a Trojan nurse brought me up at home: she took me from my dear mother and reared me thenceforth when I was a little child. So comes it, then, that I well know your tongue also. And now the Slayer of Argus with the golden wand has caught me up from the dance of huntress Artemis, her with the golden arrows. For there were many of us, nymphs and marriageable 2526 maidens, playing together; and an innumerable company encircled us: from these the Slayer of Argus with the golden wand rapt me away. He carried me over many fields of mortal men and over much land untilled and unpossessed, where savage wild-beasts roam through shady coombes, until I thought never again to touch the life-giving earth with my feet. And he said that I should be called the wedded wife of Anchises, and should bear you goodly children. But when he had told and advised me, he, the strong Slayer of Argos, went back to the families of the deathless gods, while I am now come to you: for unbending necessity is upon me. But I beseech you by Zeus and by your noble parents—for no base folk could get such a son as you—take me now, stainless and unproved in love, and show me to your father and careful mother and to your brothers sprung from the same stock. I shall be no ill-liking daughter for them, but a likely. Moreover, send a messenger quickly to the swift-horsed Phrygians, to tell my father and my sorrowing mother; and they will send you gold in plenty and woven stuffs, many splendid gifts; take these as bride-piece. So do, and then prepare the sweet marriage that is honourable in the eyes of men and deathless gods.'

(ll. 143-144) When she had so spoken, the goddess put sweet desire in his heart. And Anchises was seized with love, so that he opened his mouth and said:

(ll. 145-154) 'If you are a mortal and a woman was the mother who bare you, and Otreus of famous name is your father as you say, and if you are come here by the will of Hermes the immortal Guide, and are to be called my wife always, then neither god nor mortal man shall here restrain me till I have lain with you in love right now; no, not even if far-shooting Apollo himself should launch grievous shafts from his silver bow. Willingly would I go down into the house of Hades, O lady, beautiful as the goddesses, once I had gone up to your bed.'


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