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

Page: 59

IX. TO APHRODITE

I shall sing of Cytherea, the Cyprus-born, who gives sweet gifts to mortals, and ever on her face is a winsome smile, and ever in her hand a winsome blossom. Hail to thee, Goddess, Queen of fair-set Salamis, and of all Cyprus, and give to me song desirable, while I shall be mindful of thee and of another song. p. 222

X. TO ATHENE

Of Pallas Athene, the saviour of cities, I begin to sing; dread Goddess, who with Ares takes keep of the works of war, and of falling cities, and battles, and the battle din. She it is that saveth the hosts as they go and return from the fight. Hail Goddess, and give to us happiness and good fortune. p. 223

XI. TO HERA

I sing of golden-throned Hera, whom Rhea bore, an immortal queen in beauty pre-eminent, the sister and the bride of loud-thundering Zeus, the lady renowned, whom all the Blessed throughout high Olympus honour and revere no less than Zeus whose delight is the thunder. p. 224

XII. TO DEMETER

Of fair-tressed Demeter the holy Goddess I begin to sing; of her and the Maiden, the lovely Persephone. Hail Goddess, and save this city and inspire my song. p. 225

XIII. TO THE MOTHER OF THE GODS

Sing for me, clear-voiced Muse, daughter of great Zeus, the mother of all Gods and all mortals, who is glad in the sound of rattles and drums, and in the noise of flutes, and in the cry of wolves and fiery-eyed lions, and in the echoing hills, and the woodland haunts; even so hail to thee and to Goddesses all in my song. p. 226

XIV. TO HERACLES THE LION-HEART

Of Heracles the son of Zeus will I sing, mightiest of mortals, whom Alcmena bore in Thebes of the fair dancing places, for she had lain in the arms of Cronion, the lord of the dark clouds. Of old the hero wandered endlessly over land and sea, at the bidding of Eurystheus the prince, and himself wrought many deeds of fateful might, and many he endured; but now in the fair haunts of snowy Olympus he dwells in joy, and hath white-ankled Hebe for his wife. Hail prince, son of Zeus, and give to us valour and good fortune. p. 227

XV. TO ASCLEPIUS

Of the healer of diseases, Asclepius, I begin to sing, the son of Apollo, whom fair Coronis bore in the Dotian plain, the daughter of King Phlegyas; a great joy to men was her son, and the soother of evil pains. Even so do thou hail, O Prince, I pray to thee in my song. p. 228

XVI. TO THE DIOSCOURI

Of Castor and Polydeuces do thou sing,—shrill Muse, the Tyndaridæ, sons of Olympian Zeus, whom Lady Leda bore beneath the crests of Taygetus, having been secretly conquered by the desire of Cronion of the dark clouds. Hail, ye sons of Tyndarus, ye cavaliers of swift steeds. p. 229


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