Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 327 pages of information about Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica.

Fragment #10 —­
Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. iii. 64: 
`Telemon never sated with battle first brought light to our
comrades by slaying blameless Melanippe, destroyer of men, own
sister of the golden-girdled queen.’

(1) Cf.  Scholion on Clement, “Protrept.” i. p. 302.
(2) This line may once have been read in the text of “Works and
     Days” after l. 771.



I. TO DIONYSUS (21 lines) (1)


(ll. 1-9) For some say, at Dracanum; and some, on windy Icarus; and some, in Naxos, O Heaven-born, Insewn (2); and others by the deep-eddying river Alpheus that pregnant Semele bare you to Zeus the thunder-lover.  And others yet, lord, say you were born in Thebes; but all these lie.  The Father of men and gods gave you birth remote from men and secretly from white-armed Hera.  There is a certain Nysa, a mountain most high and richly grown with woods, far off in Phoenice, near the streams of Aegyptus.


(ll. 10-12) `...and men will lay up for her (3) many offerings in her shrines.  And as these things are three (4), so shall mortals ever sacrifice perfect hecatombs to you at your feasts each three years.’

(ll. 13-16) The Son of Cronos spoke and nodded with his dark brows.  And the divine locks of the king flowed forward from his immortal head, and he made great Olympus reel.  So spake wise Zeus and ordained it with a nod.

(ll. 17-21) Be favourable, O Insewn, Inspirer of frenzied women! we singers sing of you as we begin and as we end a strain, and none forgetting you may call holy song to mind.  And so, farewell, Dionysus, Insewn, with your mother Semele whom men call Thyone.

II.  TO DEMETER (495 lines)

(ll. 1-3) I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess —­ of her and her trim-ankled daughter whom Aidoneus rapt away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer.

(ll. 4-18) Apart from Demeter, lady of the golden sword and glorious fruits, she was playing with the deep-bosomed daughters of Oceanus and gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the narcissus, which Earth made to grow at the will of Zeus and to please the Host of Many, to be a snare for the bloom-like girl —­ a marvellous, radiant flower.  It was a thing of awe whether for deathless gods or mortal men to see:  from its root grew a hundred blooms, and it smelled most sweetly, so that all wide heaven above and the whole earth and the sea’s salt swell laughed for joy.  And the girl was amazed and reached out with both hands to take the lovely toy; but the wide-pathed earth yawned there in the plain of Nysa, and the lord, Host of Many, with his immortal horses sprang out upon her —­ the Son of Cronos, He who has many names (5).

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