Select Homeric Hymns

(c) 1997, Apollonius Sophistes

VI. To Aphrodite

Demure and lovely Aphrodite, crowned in gold,
I praise, who holds the battlements of Cyprus, sea
girt, where the humid blowing breath of Zephyrus
propelled Her o'er the tumbling rumbling ocean waves
in gentle foam, and golden-diademed Hours received
Her willingly, and wrapped Her 'round with clothes divine.
Upon Her deathless brow They placed a well-wrought crown,
both fair and golden; into Her pierced ears They put
adornments made of orichalc and costly gold;
around Her tender neck and breasts as white as snow
arranged They necklaces of gold, like those with which
the golden-diademed Hours adorn Themselves to tread
the charming dance of Gods, or walk Their father's halls.
And when She'd been adorned with every finery,
They led Her to the Gods, who saw and welcomed Her
with outstretched hands; and each implored that She
might be His lawful wife and come into His house;
They gaped at violet-diademed Cytherea's form.

Hail, Thou sweetly winning one, with fluttering eyes;
and give the victory to me! Enhance my song!
For I remember Thee and yet another song.

IX. To Artemis

Oh Muse, hymn Thou Far-shooter's sister, Artemis,
the arrow-pouring maiden, with Apollo reared,
who waters horses there in Meles deep in reeds,
through Smyrna swiftly drives Her chariot, solid gold,
to vine-rich Claros, where Apollo with His Bow
of Silver sits and waits who shoots Her arrows far.

In song I greet Thee and all other Goddesses;
but first of Thee and with Thee I begin to sing,
and, with Thee started, I turn to another song.

X. To Aphrodite

I sing of Cytherea, Cyprus-born, who grants
all tender gifts to us; on Her alluring face
are always smiles; on Her allure the flowers dance.

Greetings, guardian goddess of well-built Salamis
and sea-girt Cyprus! Grant us an alluring song!
For I remember Thee - and yet another song.

XI. To Pallas Athena

I start to sing of Pallas Athena, City Guard,
the fearsome, who with Ares cares for warlike deeds,
the sack of cities and the battle-cry of war;
She saves the soldiers as they come and go away.

Be welcome, Goddess, give me fortune and good cheer.

XII. To Hera

I sing of gold-throned Hera, Rhea born,
Immortals' Queen - Her form outshineth all -
the sister of loud-thund'ring Zeus, and wife,
sublime; the Bless'd on Bless'd Olympus' peak
revere and honor Her as much as Zeus.

XIII. To Demeter

Of grave Demeter, rich in hair, I sing,
of Her and of Her girl, most fair Persephone.

Hail, Goddess; keep our city safe and guide my song.

XIV. To the Mother of the Gods

The Mother of all Gods and mortals, laud
Thou clear-voiced Muse, Thou daughter of great Zeus.
The din of drums and rattles, shriek of flutes,
delight Her, like the call of bright-eyed wolves
and lions, heard through hill and wooded stream.

So hail to Thee, and all the Goddesses!

XVI. To Aesculapius

I start to sing of Aesculapius, healer of ills,
Apollo's son, the one divine Koronis bore
in the Dotian field, King Phlegyas' girl,
a great delight to people, soothing evil pangs.

So hail to Thee, Lord; I beseech Thee with my song.

XX. To Hephaistos

About Hephaistos Famed for Skill, O sing sweet Muse,
who with Athena, Bright-eyed One, in splendid crafts
instructed people on the earth, who long ago
in caves in mountains used to make their homes like beasts.
But through Hephaistos Famed for Art those taught the crafts
now easily live their lives through the entire year,
and without any cares, in their own homes.

Be kind, Hephaistos; give me excellence and bliss.

XXI. To Apollo

Phoebus, of Thee the swan sings clearly with his wings,
alighting on the bank beside the whirling stream
Peneus; and the singer with his clear-toned lyre
sweet-sounding, first and last doth always sing of Thee.

So hail, O Lord, I seek Thy favor with my song.

XXII. To Poseidon

About Poseidon, the Great God, I start to sing,
of Earth the mover, and of the unfruitful sea,
Aquatic, He who holds wide Aegae, Helicon.
Earth-Shaker; double roles the Gods allotted Thee:
to be a Tamer of Horses, and a Savior of Ships.

So hail, Poseidon, Earth-upholding, Dark-haired One,
And, Blest One, with a kindly heart help those who sail.

XXIII. To Kronides Most High

Of Zeus, the chief of Gods, I sing, the Greatest One,
Far-seeing, Master, Finisher; to Themis, toward
Him leaning, by Him sitting, He says sayings wise.

Be kind, Far-seeing, Greatest, Noblest, Kronides!

XXIV. To Hestia

Hestia, Thou who tends the holy house
of Lord Apollo, Pythian, Shooting Far,
Thou having hair that drips with silky oil,
approach this house and enter, of one mind
with All-Wise Zeus; and for my song grant grace.

XXV. To the Muses and Apollo

I start now with the Muses, Zeus, Apollo too;
For through the Muses and Apollo, Shooting Far,
there're singers on the earth, and players of the lyre,
and kings through Zeus, and blest are they the Muses give
Their love; and sweet the speech that flows out from their mouths.

So welcome, progeny of Zeus, exalt my song;
for I'll remember You and yet another song.

XXIX. To Hestia

Thou, Hestia, in ev'ry lofty home
of deathless Gods and folk who walk the Earth,
hath gained a seat eternal, honor grand;
Thy prize is fair and noble; lacking Thee,
feast not we mortals, if both first and last
we offer not sweet wine to Hestia.

Thou, Argus-Slaying Zeus' and Maia's Son,
Gods' Herald, giving goods, with rod of gold -
be kind, You two, and help us, awed and fond.
Inhabit this fair house as mutual friends;
for You, who know the noble deeds of folk
who walk the earth, sustain their wit and youth.
Hail, Kronos' Child, and Hermes with the rod!
I will remember You and one more song.

XXX. To Earth, Mother of All

Of Gaia sing I, Mother firm of all,
the eldest one, who feedeth life on earth,
whichever walk on land or swim the seas,
or fly; sustaineth She each from Her Wealth.
Through Thee the folk are blest in child and fruit,
O Queen, who giveth and reclaimeth Life
of mortals; rich whoe'er it pleaseth Thee
to honor; all abundance is for them;
their fertile land is fruitful; through the fields
their flocks do thrive; their house is filled with goods.
They rule well-ordered states with women fair,
and ample wealth and riches follow them;
their sons exult with youthful merriment;
their daughters play in dances flower-strewn
with happy heart, and skip through fields abloom.
Such givest Thou, Holy Rich Divinity.

So hail, God-Mother, Starry Heaven's Wife;
repay my song with pleasing sustenance!
Of Thee I'm minded - and another song.

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Last updated: Thu Jan 6 11:54:24 EST 2000