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Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

Page: 114

(l. 5) Hail, goddess, and give us good fortune with happiness!





XII. TO HERA (5 lines)

(ll. 1-5) I sing of golden-throned Hera whom Rhea bare. Queen of the immortals is she, surpassing all in beauty: she is the sister and the wife of loud-thundering Zeus,—the glorious one whom all the blessed throughout high Olympus reverence and honour even as Zeus who delights in thunder.





XIII. TO DEMETER (3 lines)

(ll. 1-2) I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess, of her and of her daughter lovely Persephone.

(l. 3) Hail, goddess! Keep this city safe, and govern my song.





XIV. TO THE MOTHER OF THE GODS (6 lines)

(ll. 1-5) I prithee, clear-voiced Muse, daughter of mighty Zeus, sing of the mother of all gods and men. She is well-pleased with the sound of rattles and of timbrels, with the voice of flutes and the outcry of wolves and bright-eyed lions, with echoing hills and wooded coombes.

(l. 6) And so hail to you in my song and to all goddesses as well!





XV. TO HERACLES THE LION-HEARTED (9 lines)

(ll. 1-8) I will sing of Heracles, the son of Zeus and much the mightiest of men on earth. Alcmena bare him in Thebes, the city of lovely dances, when the dark-clouded Son of Cronos had lain with her. Once he used to wander over unmeasured tracts of land and sea at the bidding of King Eurystheus, and himself did many deeds of violence and endured many; but now he lives happily in the glorious home of snowy Olympus, and has neat-ankled Hebe for his wife.

(l. 9) Hail, lord, son of Zeus! Give me success and prosperity.





XVI. TO ASCLEPIUS (5 lines)

(ll. 1-4) I begin to sing of Asclepius, son of Apollo and healer of sicknesses. In the Dotian plain fair Coronis, daughter of King Phlegyas, bare him, a great joy to men, a soother of cruel pangs.

(l. 5) And so hail to you, lord: in my song I make my prayer to thee!





XVII. TO THE DIOSCURI (5 lines)

(ll. 1-4) Sing, clear-voiced Muse, of Castor and Polydeuces, the Tyndaridae, who sprang from Olympian Zeus. Beneath the heights of Taygetus stately Leda bare them, when the dark-clouded Son of Cronos had privily bent her to his will.

(l. 5) Hail, children of Tyndareus, riders upon swift horses!





XVIII. TO HERMES (12 lines)

(ll. 1-9) I sing of Cyllenian Hermes, the Slayer of Argus, lord of Cyllene and Arcadia rich in flocks, luck-bringing messenger of the deathless gods. He was born of Maia, the daughter of Atlas, when she had made with Zeus,—a shy goddess she. Ever she avoided the throng of the blessed gods and lived in a shadowy cave, and there the Son of Cronos used to lie with the rich-tressed nymph at dead of night, while white-armed Hera lay bound in sweet sleep: and neither deathless god nor mortal man knew it.

(ll. 10-11) And so hail to you, Son of Zeus and Maia; with you I have begun: now I will turn to another song!

(l. 12) Hail, Hermes, giver of grace, guide, and giver of good things! 2531





XIX. TO PAN (49 lines)

(ll. 1-26) Muse, tell me about Pan, the dear son of Hermes, with his goat's feet and two horns—a lover of merry noise. Through wooded glades he wanders with dancing nymphs who foot it on some sheer cliff's edge, calling upon Pan, the shepherd-god, long-haired, unkempt. He has every snowy crest and the mountain peaks and rocky crests for his domain; hither and thither he goes through the close thickets, now lured by soft streams, and now he presses on amongst towering crags and climbs up to the highest peak that overlooks the flocks. Often he courses through the glistening high mountains, and often on the shouldered hills he speeds along slaying wild beasts, this keen-eyed god. Only at evening, as he returns from the chase, he sounds his note, playing sweet and low on his pipes of reed: not even she could excel him in melody—that bird who in flower-laden spring pouring forth her lament utters honey-voiced song amid the leaves. At that hour the clear-voiced nymphs are with him and move with nimble feet, singing by some spring of dark water, while Echo wails about the mountain-top, and the god on this side or on that of the choirs, or at times sidling into the midst, plies it nimbly with his feet. On his back he wears a spotted lynx-pelt, and he delights in high-pitched songs in a soft meadow where crocuses and sweet-smelling hyacinths bloom at random in the grass.

(ll. 27-47) They sing of the blessed gods and high Olympus and choose to tell of such an one as luck-bringing Hermes above the rest, how he is the swift messenger of all the gods, and how he came to Arcadia, the land of many springs and mother of flocks, there where his sacred place is as god of Cyllene. For there, though a god, he used to tend curly-fleeced sheep in the service of a mortal man, because there fell on him and waxed strong melting desire to wed the rich-tressed daughter of Dryops, and there he brought about the merry marriage. And in the house she bare Hermes a dear son who from his birth was marvellous to look upon, with goat's feet and two horns—a noisy, merry-laughing child. But when the nurse saw his uncouth face and full beard, she was afraid and sprang up and fled and left the child. Then luck-bringing Hermes received him and took him in his arms: very glad in his heart was the god. And he went quickly to the abodes of the deathless gods, carrying the son wrapped in warm skins of mountain hares, and set him down beside Zeus and showed him to the rest of the gods. Then all the immortals were glad in heart and Bacchie Dionysus in especial; and they called the boy Pan 2532 because he delighted all their hearts.


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