The Homeric Hymns eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about The Homeric Hymns.
of Zeus did the brother of Zeus lead the maiden away, the lord of many, the host of many guests, with his deathless horses; right sore against her will, even he of many names the son of Cronos.  Now, so long as the Goddess beheld the earth, and the starry heaven, and the tide of the teeming sea, and the rays of the sun, and still hoped to behold her mother dear, and the tribes of the eternal gods; even so long, despite her sorrow, hope warmed her high heart; then rang the mountain peaks, and the depths of the sea to her immortal voice, and her lady mother heard her.  Then sharp pain caught at her heart, and with her hands she tore the wimple about her ambrosial hair, and cast a dark veil about her shoulders, and then sped she like a bird over land and sea in her great yearning; but to her there was none that would tell the truth, none, either of Gods, or deathly men, nor even a bird came nigh her, a soothsaying messenger.  Thereafter for nine days did Lady Deo roam the earth, with torches burning in her hands, nor ever in her sorrow tasted she of ambrosia and sweet nectar, nor laved her body in the baths.  But when at last the tenth morn came to her with the light, Hecate met her, a torch in her hands, and spake a word of tidings, and said: 

“Lady Demeter, thou that bringest the Seasons, thou giver of glad gifts, which of the heavenly gods or deathly men hath ravished away Persephone, and brought thee sorrow:  for I heard a voice but I saw not who the ravisher might be?  All this I say to thee for sooth.”

So spake Hecate, and the daughter of fair-tressed Rheie answered her not, but swiftly rushed on with her, bearing torches burning in her hands.  So came they to Helios that watches both for gods and men, and stood before his car, and the lady Goddess questioned him: 

“Helios, be pitiful on me that am a goddess, if ever by word or deed I gladdened thy heart.  My daughter, whom I bore, a sweet plant and fair to see; it was her shrill voice I heard through the air unharvested, even as of one violently entreated, but I saw her not with my eyes.  But do thou that lookest down with thy rays from the holy air upon all the land and sea, do thou tell me truly concerning my dear child, if thou didst behold her; who it is that hath gone off and ravished her away from me against her will, who is it of gods or mortal men?”

So spake she, and Hyperionides answered her: 

“Daughter of fair-tressed Rheia, Queen Demeter, thou shalt know it; for greatly do I pity and revere thee in thy sorrow for thy slim-ankled child.  There is none other guilty of the Immortals but Zeus himself that gathereth the clouds, who gave thy daughter to Hades, his own brother, to be called his lovely wife; and Hades has ravished her away in his chariot, loudly shrilling, beneath the dusky gloom.  But, Goddess, do thou cease from thy long lamenting.  It behoves not thee thus vainly to cherish anger unassuaged.  No unseemly lord for thy daughter among the Immortals is Aidoneus, the lord of many, thine own brother and of one seed with thee, and for his honour he won, since when was made the threefold division, to be lord among those with whom he dwells.”

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The Homeric Hymns from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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