Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 271 pages of information about Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica.

(ll. 524-525) But their spirit was stirred in their dear breasts, and the master of the Cretans asked him, saying: 

(ll. 526-530) `Lord, since you have brought us here far from our dear ones and our fatherland, —­ for so it seemed good to your heart, —­ tell us now how we shall live.  That we would know of you.  This land is not to be desired either for vineyards or for pastures so that we can live well thereon and also minister to men.’

(ll. 531-544) Then Apollo, the son of Zeus, smiled upon them and said:  `Foolish mortals and poor drudges are you, that you seek cares and hard toils and straits!  Easily will I tell you a word and set it in your hearts.  Though each one of you with knife in hand should slaughter sheep continually, yet would you always have abundant store, even all that the glorious tribes of men bring here for me.  But guard you my temple and receive the tribes of men that gather to this place, and especially show mortal men my will, and do you keep righteousness in your heart.  But if any shall be disobedient and pay no heed to my warning, or if there shall be any idle word or deed and outrage as is common among mortal men, then other men shall be your masters and with a strong hand shall make you subject for ever.  All has been told you:  do you keep it in your heart.’

(ll. 545-546) And so, farewell, son of Zeus and Leto; but I will remember you and another hymn also.

IV.  TO HERMES (582 lines)

(ll. 1-29) Muse, sing of Hermes, the son of Zeus and Maia, lord of Cyllene and Arcadia rich in flocks, the luck-bringing messenger of the immortals whom Maia bare, the rich-tressed nymph, when she was joined in love with Zeus, —­ a shy goddess, for she avoided the company of the blessed gods, and lived within a deep, shady cave.  There the son of Cronos used to lie with the rich-tressed nymph, unseen by deathless gods and mortal men, at dead of night while sweet sleep should hold white-armed Hera fast.  And when the purpose of great Zeus was fixed in heaven, she was delivered and a notable thing was come to pass.  For then she bare a son, of many shifts, blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods.  Born with the dawning, at mid-day he played on the lyre, and in the evening he stole the cattle of far-shooting Apollo on the fourth day of the month; for on that day queenly Maia bare him.  So soon as he had leaped from his mother’s heavenly womb, he lay not long waiting in his holy cradle, but he sprang up and sought the oxen of Apollo.  But as he stepped over the threshold of the high-roofed cave, he found a tortoise there and gained endless delight.  For it was Hermes who first made the tortoise a singer.  The creature fell in his way at the courtyard gate, where it was feeding on the rich grass before the dwelling, waddling along.  When he saw it, the luck-bringing son of Zeus laughed and said: 

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Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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