The Homeric Hymns eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 121 pages of information about The Homeric Hymns.

I sing of Artemis of the Golden Distaff, Goddess of the loud chase, a maiden revered, the slayer of stags, the archer, very sister of Apollo of the golden blade.  She through the shadowy hills and the windy headlands rejoicing in the chase draws her golden bow, sending forth shafts of sorrow.  Then tremble the crests of the lofty mountains, and terribly the dark woodland rings with din of beasts, and the earth shudders, and the teeming sea.  Meanwhile she of the stout heart turns about on every side slaying the race of wild beasts.  Anon when the Archer Huntress hath taken her delight, and hath gladdened her heart, she slackens her bended bow, and goes to the great hall of her dear Phoebus Apollo, to the rich Delphian land; and arrays the lovely dance of Muses and Graces.  There hangs she up her bended bow and her arrows, and all graciously clad about she leads the dances, first in place, while the others utter their immortal voice in hymns to fair-ankled Leto, how she bore such children pre-eminent among the Immortals in counsel and in deed.  Hail, ye children of Zeus and fair-tressed Leto, anon will I be mindful of you and of another hymn.

[Apollo, Artemis and Leto in procession.  Marble relief in the Louvre:  lang241.jpg]

XXVII.  TO ATHENE

Of fairest Athene, renowned Goddess, I begin to sing, of the Grey-eyed, the wise; her of the relentless heart, the maiden revered, the succour of cities, the strong Tritogeneia.  Her did Zeus the counsellor himself beget from his holy head, all armed for war in shining golden mail, while in awe did the other Gods behold it.  Quickly did the Goddess leap from the immortal head, and stood before Zeus, shaking her sharp spear, and high Olympus trembled in dread beneath the strength of the grey-eyed Maiden, while earth rang terribly around, and the sea was boiling with dark waves, and suddenly brake forth the foam.  Yea, and the glorious son of Hyperion checked for long his swift steeds, till the maiden took from her immortal shoulders her divine armour, even Pallas Athene:  and Zeus the counsellor rejoiced.  Hail to thee, thou child of aegis-bearing Zeus, anon shall I be mindful of thee and of another lay.

XXVIII.  TO HESTIA

Hestia, thou that in the lofty halls of all immortal Gods, and of all men that go on earth, hast obtained an eternal place and the foremost honour, splendid is thy glory and thy gift, for there is no banquet of mortals without thee, none where, Hestia, they be not wont first and last to make to thee oblation of sweet wine.  And do thou, O slayer of Argus, son of Zeus and Maia, messenger of the blessed Gods, God of the golden wand, Giver of all things good, do thou with Hestia dwell in the fair mansions, dear each to other; with kindly heart befriend us in company with dear and honoured Hestia. [For both the twain, well skilled in all fair works of earthly men, consort with wisdom and youth.] Hail daughter of Cronos, thou and Hermes of the golden wand, anon will I be mindful of you and of another lay.

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The Homeric Hymns from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.