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The Homeric Hymns A New Prose translation and Essays, Literary and Mythological

Page: 29

Therewith she won over the heart of the Far-darter, even that to Telphusa herself should be honour in that land, and not to the Far-darter.

Thenceforward didst thou fare, far-darting Apollo, and camest to the city of the overweening Phlegyæ, that reckless of Zeus dwelt there in a goodly glade by the Cephisian mere. Thence fleetly didst thou speed to p. 119the ridge of the hills, and camest to Crisa beneath snowy Parnassus, to a knoll that faced westward, but above it hangs a cliff, and a hollow dell runs under, rough with wood, and even there Prince Phœbus Apollo deemed well to build a goodly temple, and spake, saying: “Here methinketh to stablish a right fair temple, to be a place oracular to men, that shall ever bring me hither goodly hecatombs, both they that dwell in rich Peloponnesus, and they of the mainland and sea-girt isles, seeking here the word of sooth; to them all shall I speak the decree unerring, rendering oracles within my wealthy shrine.”

So speaking, Phœbus Apollo marked out the foundations, right long and wide, and thereon Trophonius and Agamedes laid the threshold of stone, the sons of Erginus, dear to the deathless Gods. But round all the countless tribes of men built a temple with wrought stones to be famous for ever in song.

Hard by is a fair-flowing stream, and there, with an arrow from his strong bow, p. 120did the Prince, the son of Zeus, slay the Dragoness, mighty and huge, a wild Etin, that was wont to wreak many woes on earthly men, on themselves, and their straight-stepping flocks, so dread a bane was she.

[This Dragoness it was that took from golden-throned Hera and reared the dread Typhaon, not to be dealt with, a bane to mortals. Him did Hera bear, upon a time, in wrath with father Zeus, whenas Cronides brought forth from his head renowned Athene. Straightway lady Hera was angered, and spake among the assembled Gods:

“Listen to me, ye Gods, and Goddesses all, how cloud-collecting Zeus is first to begin the dishonouring of me, though he made me his wife in honour. And now, apart from me, he has brought forth grey-eyed Athene who excels among all the blessed Immortals. But he was feeble from the birth, among all the Gods, my son Hephæstos, lame and withered of foot, whom I myself lifted in my hands, and cast into the wide sea. But the daughter of Nereus, Thetis of the silver feet, p. 121received him and nurtured him among her sisters. Would that she had done other grace to the blessed Immortals!

“Thou evil one of many wiles, what other wile devisest thou? How hadst thou the heart now alone to bear grey-eyed Athene? Could I not have borne her? But none the less would she have been called thine among the Immortals, who hold the wide heaven. Take heed now, that I devise not for thee some evil to come. Yea, now shall I use arts whereby a child of mine shall be born, excelling among the immortal Gods, without dishonouring thy sacred bed or mine, for verily to thy bed I will not come, but far from thee will nurse my grudge against the Immortal Gods.”


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