(ll. 1019-1020) These are the immortal goddesses who lay with mortal men and bare them children like unto gods.
(ll. 1021-1022) But now, sweet-voiced Muses of Olympus, daughters of Zeus who holds the aegis, sing of the company of women.
(1) The epithet probably indicates coquettishness.
(2) A proverbial saying meaning, `why enlarge on irrelevant
(3) `She of the noble voice’: Calliope is queen of Epic poetry.
(4) Earth, in the cosmology of Hesiod, is a disk surrounded by
the river Oceanus and floating upon a waste of waters. It
is called the foundation of all (the qualification `the
deathless ones...’ etc. is an interpolation), because not
only trees, men, and animals, but even the hills and seas
(ll. 129, 131) are supported by it.
(5) Aether is the bright, untainted upper atmosphere, as
distinguished from Aer, the lower atmosphere of the earth.
(6) Brontes is the Thunderer; Steropes, the Lightener; and
Arges, the Vivid One.
(7) The myth accounts for the separation of Heaven and Earth.
In Egyptian cosmology Nut (the Sky) is thrust and held apart
from her brother Geb (the Earth) by their father Shu, who
corresponds to the Greek Atlas.
(8) Nymphs of the ash-trees, as Dryads are nymphs of the oak-
trees. Cp. note on “Works and Days”, l. 145.
(9) `Member-loving’: the title is perhaps only a perversion of
the regular PHILOMEIDES (laughter-loving).
(10) Cletho (the Spinner) is she who spins the thread of man’s
life; Lachesis (the Disposer of Lots) assigns to each man
his destiny; Atropos (She who cannot be turned) is the `Fury
with the abhorred shears.’
(11) Many of the names which follow express various qualities or
aspects of the sea: thus Galene is `Calm’, Cymothoe is the
`Wave-swift’, Pherusa and Dynamene are `She who speeds
(ships)’ and `She who has power’.
(12) The `Wave-receiver’ and the `Wave-stiller’.
(13) `The Unerring’ or `Truthful’; cp. l. 235.
(14) i.e. Poseidon.
(15) Goettling notes that some of these nymphs derive their names
from lands over which they preside, as Europa, Asia, Doris,
Ianeira (`Lady of the Ionians’), but that most are called
after some quality which their streams possessed: thus
Xanthe is the `Brown’ or `Turbid’, Amphirho is the
`Surrounding’ river, Ianthe is `She who delights’, and
Ocyrrhoe is the `Swift-flowing’.
(16) i.e. Eos, the `Early-born’.
(17) Van Lennep explains that Hecate, having no brothers to
support her claim, might have been slighted.
(18) The goddess of the hearth (the Roman “Vesta"), and so of the
house. Cp. “Homeric Hymns” v.22 ff.; xxxix.1 ff.
(19) The variant reading `of his father’ (sc.