<<<
>>>

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

Page: 44

But into Aphrodite herself Zeus sent sweet p. 169desire, to lie in the arms of a mortal man. This wrought he so that anon not even she might be unconversant with a mortal bed, and might not some day with sweet laughter make her boast among all the Gods, the smiling Aphrodite, that she had given the Gods to mortal paramours, and they for deathless Gods bare deathly sons, and that she mingled Goddesses in love with mortal men. Therefore Zeus sent into her heart sweet desire of Anchises, who as then was pasturing his kine on the steep hills of many-fountained Ida, a man in semblance like the Immortals. Him thereafter did smiling Aphrodite see and love, and measureless desire took hold on her heart. To Cyprus wended she, within her fragrant shrine: even to Paphos, where is her sacred garth and odorous altar. Thither went she in, and shut the shining doors, and there the Graces laved and anointed her with oil ambrosial, such as is on the bodies of the eternal Gods, sweet fragrant oil that she had by her. Then clad she her body in goodly raiment, and p. 170prinked herself with gold, the smiling Aphrodite; then sped to Troy, leaving fragrant Cyprus, and high among the clouds she swiftly accomplished her way.

To many-fountained Ida she came, mother of wild beasts, and made straight for the steading through the mountain, while behind her came fawning the beasts, grey wolves, and lions fiery-eyed, and bears, and swift pards, insatiate pursuers of the roe-deer. Glad was she at the sight of them, and sent desire into their breasts, and they went coupling two by two in the shadowy dells. But she came to the well-builded shielings, {170} and him she found left alone in the shielings with no company, the hero Anchises, graced with beauty from the Gods. All the rest were faring after the kine through the grassy pastures, but he, left lonely at the shielings, walked up and down, harping sweet and shrill. In front of him stood the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, in semblance and stature like an unwedded maid, lest he should be p. 171adread when he beheld the Goddess. And Anchises marvelled when he beheld her, her height, and beauty, and glistering raiment. For she was clad in vesture more shining than the flame of fire, and with twisted armlets and glistering earrings of flower-fashion. About her delicate neck were lovely jewels, fair and golden: and like the moon’s was the light on her fair breasts, and love came upon Anchises, and he spake unto her:

“Hail, Queen, whosoever of the Immortals thou art that comest to this house; whether Artemis, or Leto, or golden Aphrodite, or high-born Themis, or grey-eyed Athene. Or perchance thou art one of the Graces come hither, who dwell friendly with the Gods, and have a name to be immortal; or of the nymphs that dwell in this fair glade, or in this fair mountain, and in the well-heads of rivers, and in grassy dells. But to thee on some point of outlook, in a place far seen, will I make an altar, and offer to thee goodly victims in every season. But for thy part p. 172be kindly, and grant me to be a man pre-eminent among the Trojans, and give goodly seed of children to follow me; but for me, let me live long, and see the sunlight, and come to the limit of old age, being ever in all things fortunate among men.”


<<<
>>>