THE ORPHIC HYMNS 1 - 40
 

THE ORPHIC HYMNS are a collection of 87 short religious poems composed in either the late Hellenistic (C3rd or C2nd BC) or early Roman (C1st to C2nd AD) era. They are based on the beliefs of Orphism, a mystery cult or religious philosophy which claimed descent from the teachings of the mythical hero Orpheus.

The Hymns of Orpheus. Translated by Taylor, Thomas (1792).
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. (current edition)

The 1792 translation by Taylor with his notes is still available in print. However a much more accurate, modern translation by A. Athanassakis has since been released. See the booklist right for details of these two volumes and other related works on Orphism.

NOTES ON FORMAT:
1) I have compacted each of Taylor's verse couplets into a single line to shorten the page and make the information easier to print.
2) Taylor has translated most of the Greek names to their Latin equivalents. For the sake of clarity I have reinserted the Greek names from the source text in square brackets.


ORPHIC HYMNS INDEX

ORPHIC HYMNS 1 - 40

0. To Musaeus
1. To Prothyraea
2. To Nyx (Night)
3. To Uranus (the Sky)
4. To Aether
5. To Protogonus
6. To Astron (the Stars)
7. To Helius (the Sun)
8. To Selene (the Moon)
9. To Phusis (Nature)
10. To Pan
11. To Heracles
12. To Cronus
13. To Rhea
14. To Zeus
15. To Hera
16. To Poseidon
17. To Pluto
18. To Zeus of Thunder
19. To Zeus of Lightning
20. To Nephelae (Clouds)
21. To Thalassa (Sea)
22. To Nereus
23. To the Nereids
24. To Proteus
25. To Gaea (Earth)
26. To Mother of the Gods
27. To Hermes
28. To Persephone
29. To Dionysus
30. To the Curetes
31. To Athena
32. To Nike (Victory)
33. To Apollo
34. To Leto
35. To Artemis
36. To the Titans
37. To the Curetes
38. To Corybas
39. To Demeter of Eleusis
40. To Mother Antaea

ORPHIC HYMNS 41 - 86

41. To Misa
42. To the Horae (Seasons)
43. To Semele
44. To Dionysus Bassareus
45. To Dionysus Licnitus
46. To Dionysus Pericionius
47. To Zabazius
48. To Ippa
49. To Lysius Lenaeus
50. To the Nymphs
51. To Trietericus
52. To Amphietus Bacchus
53. To Silenus, Satyr, Bacchae
54. To Aphrodite
55. To Adonis
56. To Hermes Chthonius
57. To Eros (Love)
58. To the Moirae (Fates)
59. To the Charites (Graces)
60. To Nemesis
61. To Dice (Justice)
62. To Dicaeosyne (Equity)
63. To Nomus (Law)
64. To Ares|
65. To Hephaestus
66. To Asclepius
67. To Hygea (Health)
68. To the Erinyes (Furies)
69. To the Eumenides
70. To Melinoe
71. To Tyche (Fortune)
72. To the Daemon
73. To Leucothea
74. To Palaemon
75. To the Muses
76. To Mnemosyne (Memory)
77. To Eos (Dawn)
78. To Themis (Custom)
79. To Boreas (North Wind)
80. To Zephyrus (West Wind)
81. To Notus (South Wind)
82. To Oceanus
83. To Hestia (Hearth)
84. To Hypnus (Sleep)
85. To the Oneiri (Dreams)
86. To Thanatus (Death)

ORPHIC HYMNS, TRANSLATED BY THOMAS TAYLOR

TO MUSÆUS

Attend Musæus to my sacred song, and learn what rites to sacrifice belong.
Jove [Zeus] I invoke, the Earth [Gaia], and Solar Light [Helios],
the Moon's [Mene] pure splendor, and the Stars of night;
Thee Neptune [Poseidon], ruler of the sea profound, dark-hair'd, whose waves begirt the solid ground;
Ceres [Demeter] abundant, and of lovely mien,
and Proserpine [Phersephone] infernal Pluto's [Haides] queen
The huntress Dian [Artemis], and bright Phœbus rays, far-darting God, the theme of Delphic praise;
And Bacchus [Dionysos], honour'd by the heav'nly choir,
and raging Mars [Ares], and Vulcan [Hephaistos] god of fire;
The mighty pow'r who rose from foam to light, and Pluto potent in the realms of night;
With Hebe young, and Hercules the strong, and you to whom the cares of births [Eileithyia] belong:
Justice [Dikaisune] and Piety [Eusebia] august I call, and much-fam'd nymphs, and Pan the god of all.
To Juno [Hera] sacred, and to Mem'ry [Mnemosyne] fair, and the chaste Muses I address my pray'r;
The various year, the Graces [Kharites], and the Hours [Horai],
fair-hair'd Latona [Leto], and Dione's pow'rs;
Armed Curetes, household Gods [Korybantes, Kouretes, Kabeiroi] I call,
with those [Soteroi] who spring from Jove [Zeus] the king of all:
Th' Idæan Gods, the angel of the skies, and righteous Themis, with sagacious eyes;
With ancient Night [Nyx], and Day-light [Hemara] I implore,
and Faith [Pistis], and Justice [Dike] dealing right adore;
Saturn [Kronos] and Rhea, and great Thetis too, hid in a veil of bright celestial blue:
I call great Ocean [Okeanos], and the beauteous train of nymphs, who dwell in chambers of the main;
Atlas the strong, and ever in its prime, vig'rous Eternity [Aion], and endless Time [Khronos];
The Stygian pool [Styx], and placid Gods [Meilikhoi] beside,
and various Genii [Daimones], that o'er men preside;
Illustrious Providence [Pronoia], the noble train of dæmon forms, who fill th' ætherial plain;
Or live in air, in water, earth, or fire, or deep beneath the solid ground retire.
Bacchus [Dionysos] and Semele the friends of all, and white Leucothea of the sea I call;
Palæmon bounteous, and Adrastria great, and sweet-tongu'd Victory [Nike], with success elate;
Great Esculapius [Asklepios], skill'd to cure disease,
and dread Minerva [Athene], whom fierce battles please;
Thunders [Brontoi] and Winds [Anemoi] in mighty columns pent,
with dreadful roaring struggling hard for vent;
Attis, the mother of the pow'rs on high, and fair Adonis, never doom'd to die,
End and beginning he is all to all, these with propitious aid I gently call;
And to my holy sacrifice invite, the pow'r who reigns in deepest hell and night;
I call Einodian Hecate, lovely dame, of earthly, wat'ry, and celestial frame,
Sepulchral, in a saffron veil array'd, leas'd with dark ghosts that wander thro' the shade;
Persian, unconquerable huntress hail! The world's key-bearer never doom'd to fail
On the rough rock to wander thee delights, leader and nurse be present to our rites
Propitious grant our just desires success, accept our homage, and the incense bless.

[1] I. TO THE GODDESS PROTHYRÆA

The Fumigation from Storax.
O venerable goddess, hear my pray'r, for labour pains are thy peculiar care;
In thee, when stretch'd upon the bed of grief, the sex as in a mirror view relief.
Guard of the race, endued with gentle mind, to helpless youth, benevolent and kind;
Benignant nourisher; great Nature's key belongs to no divinity but thee.
Thou dwell'st with all immanifest to sight, and solemn festivals are thy delight.
Thine is the talk to loose the virgin's zone, and thou in ev'ry work art seen and known.
With births you sympathize, tho' pleas'd to see the numerous offspring of fertility;
When rack'd with nature's pangs and sore distress'd, the sex invoke thee, as the soul's sure rest;
For thou alone can'st give relief to pain, which art attempts to ease, but tries in vain;
Assisting goddess [Eileithyia], venerable pow'r, who bring'st relief in labour's dreadful hour;
Hear, blessed Dian [Artemis], and accept my pray'r, and make the infant race thy constant care.

[2] II. TO NIGHT [NYX]

The Fumigation with Torches.
Night [Nyx], parent goddess, source of sweet repose, from whom at first both Gods and men arose,
Hear, blessed Venus [Kypris], deck'd with starry light, in sleep's deep silence dwelling Ebon night!
Dreams and soft case attend thy dusky train, pleas'd with the length'ned gloom and feaftful strain.
Dissolving anxious care, the friend of Mirth, with darkling coursers riding round the earth.
Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play, whose drowsy pow'r divides the nat'ral day:
By Fate's decree you constant send the light to deepest hell, remote from mortal sight
For dire Necessity which nought withstands, invests the world with adamantine bands.
Be present, Goddess, to thy suppliant's pray'r, desir'd by all, whom all alike revere,
Blessed, benevolent, with friendly aid dispell the fears of Twilight's dreadful shade.

[3] III. TO HEAVEN [OURANOS]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.
Great Heav'n [Ouranos], whose mighty frame no respite knows, father of all, from whom the world arose:
Hear, bounteous parent, source and end of all, forever whirling round this earthly ball;
Abode of Gods, whose guardian pow'r surrounds th' eternal World with ever during bounds;
Whose ample bosom and encircling folds the dire necessity of nature holds.
Ætherial, earthly, whose all-various frame azure and full of forms, no power can tame.
All-seeing Heav'n, progenitor of Time [Kronos], forever blessed, deity sublime,
Propitious on a novel mystic shine, and crown his wishes with a life divine.

[4] IV. TO FIRE [AITHER]

The Fumigation from Saffron.
O Ever untam'd Fire [Aither], who reign'st on high in Jove's [Zeus'] dominions ruler of the sky;
The glorious sun with dazzling lustre bright, and moon and stars from thee derive their light;
All taming pow'r, ætherial shining fire, whose vivid blasts the heat of life inspire:
The world's best element, light-bearing pow'r, with starry radiance shining, splendid flow'r,
O hear my suppliant pray'r, and may thy frame be ever innocent, serene, and tame.

[5] V. TO PROTOGONUS, or the FIRST-BORN

The Fumigation from Myrrh.
O Mighty first-begotten [Protogonos], hear my pray'r, two-fold, egg-born, and wand'ring thro' the air,
Bull-roarer, glorying in thy golden wings, from whom the race of Gods and mortals springs.
Ericapæus [Erikapaios], celebrated pow'r, ineffable, occult, all shining flow'r.
From eyes obscure thou wip'st the gloom of night, all-spreading splendour, pure and holy light
Hence Phanes call'd, the glory of the sky, on waving pinions thro' the world you fly.
Priapus, dark-ey'd splendour, thee I sing, genial, all-prudent, ever-blessed king,
With joyful aspect on our rights divine and holy sacrifice propitious shine.

[6] VI. TO THE STARS [ASTRON]

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
With holy voice I call the stars [Astron] on high, pure sacred lights and genii of the sky.
Celestial stars, the progeny of Night [Nyx], in whirling circles beaming far your light,
Refulgent rays around the heav'ns ye throw, eternal fires, the source of all below.
With flames significant of Fate ye shine, and aptly rule for men a path divine.
In seven bright zones ye run with wand'ring flames, and heaven and earth compose your lucid frames:
With course unwearied, pure and fiery bright forever shining thro' the veil of Night.
Hail twinkling, joyful, ever wakeful fires! Propitious shine on all my just desires;
These sacred rites regard with conscious rays, and end our works devoted to your praise.

[7] VII. TO THE SUN [HELIOS]

The Fumigation from Frankinsence and Manna.
Hear golden Titan, whose eternal eye with broad survey, illumines all the sky.
Self-born, unwearied in diffusing light, and to all eyes the mirrour of delight:
Lord of the seasons, with thy fiery car and leaping coursers, beaming light from far:
With thy right hand the source of morning light, and with thy left the father of the night.
Agile and vig'rous, venerable Sun, fiery and bright around the heav'ns you run.
Foe to the wicked, but the good man's guide, o'er all his steps propitious you preside:
With various founding, golden lyre, 'tis mine to fill the world with harmony divine.
Father of ages, guide of prosp'rous deeds, the world's commander, borne by lucid steeds,
Immortal Jove [Zeus], all-searching, bearing light, source of existence, pure and fiery bright
Bearer of fruit, almighty lord of years, agil and warm, whom ev'ry pow'r reveres.
Great eye of Nature and the starry skies, doom'd with immortal flames to set and rise
Dispensing justice, lover of the stream, the world's great despot, and o'er all supreme.
Faithful defender, and the eye of right, of steeds the ruler, and of life the light:
With founding whip four fiery steeds you guide, when in the car of day you glorious ride.
Propitious on these mystic labours shine, and bless thy suppliants with a life divine.

[8] VIII. TO THE MOON [SELENE]

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light, bull-horn'd and wand'ring thro' the gloom of Night.
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide Night's torch extending, thro' the heav'ns you ride:
Female and Male with borrow'd rays you shine, and now full-orb'd, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon [Mene], whose amber orb makes Night's reflected noon:
Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night, all-seeing pow'r bedeck'd with starry light.
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, in peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend, who giv'st to Nature's works their destin'd end.
Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail! Deck'd with a graceful robe and shining veil;
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,
Shine on these sacred rites with prosp'rous rays, and pleas'd accept thy suppliant's mystic praise.

[9] IX. TO NATURE [PHUSIS]

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Nature [Phusis], all parent, ancient, and divine, O Much-mechanic mother, art is thine;
Heav'nly, abundant, venerable queen, in ev'ry part of thy dominions seen.
Untam'd, all-taming, ever splendid light, all ruling, honor'd, and supremly bright.
Immortal, first-born [Protogeneia], ever still the same, nocturnal, starry, shining, glorious dame.
Thy feet's still traces in a circling course, by thee are turn'd, with unremitting force.
Pure ornament of all the pow'rs divine, finite and infinite alike you shine;
To all things common and in all things known, yet incommunicable and alone.
Without a father of thy wond'rous frame, thyself the father whence thy essence came.
All-flourishing, connecting, mingling soul, leader and ruler of this mighty whole.
Life-bearer, all-sustaining, various nam'd, and for commanding grace and beauty fam'd.
Justice, supreme in might, whose general sway the waters of the restless deep obey.
Ætherial, earthly, for the pious glad, sweet to the good, but bitter to the bad.
All-wife, all bounteous, provident, divine, a rich increase of nutriment is thine;
Father of all, great nurse, and mother kind, abundant, blessed, all-spermatic mind:
Mature, impetuous, from whose fertile seeds and plastic hand, this changing scene proceeds.
All-parent pow'r, to mortal eyes unseen, eternal, moving, all-sagacious queen.
By thee the world, whose parts in rapid flow, like swift descending streams, no respite know,
On an eternal hinge, with steady course is whirl'd, with matchless, unremitting force.
Thron'd on a circling car, thy mighty hand holds and directs, the reins of wide command.
Various thy essence, honor'd, and the best, of judgement too, the general end and test.
Intrepid, fatal, all-subduing dame, life-everlasting, Parca, breathing flame.
Immortal, Providence, the world is thine, and thou art all things, architect divine.
O blessed Goddess, hear thy suppliant's pray'r, and make my future life, thy constant care;
Give plenteous seasons, and sufficient wealth, and crown my days with lasting, peace and health.

[10] X. TO PAN

The Fumigation from Various Odors.
I Call strong Pan, the substance of the whole, etherial, marine, earthly, general soul,
Immortal fire; for all the world is thine, and all are parts of thee, O pow'r divine.
Come, blessed Pan, whom rural haunts delight, come, leaping, agile, wand'ring, starry light;
The Hours and Seasons [Horai], wait thy high command, and round thy throne in graceful order stand.
Goat-footed, horned, Bacchanalian Pan, fanatic pow'r, from whom the world began,
Whose various parts by thee inspir'd, combine in endless dance and melody divine.
In thee a refuge from our fears we find, those fears peculiar to the human kind.
Thee shepherds, streams of water, goats rejoice, thou lov'st the chace, and Echo's secret voice:
The sportive nymphs, thy ev'ry step attend, and all thy works fulfill their destin'd end.
O all-producing pow'r, much-fam'd, divine, the world's great ruler, rich increase is thine.
All-fertile Pæan, heav'nly splendor pure, in fruits rejoicing, and in caves obscure.
True serpent-horned Jove [Zeus], whose dreadful rage when rous'd, 'tis hard for mortals to asswage.
By thee the earth wide-bosom'd deep and long, stands on a basis permanent and strong.
Th' unwearied waters of the rolling sea, profoundly spreading, yield to thy decree.
Old Ocean [Okeanos] too reveres thy high command, whose liquid arms begirt the solid land.
The spacious air, whose nutrimental fire, and vivid blasts, the heat of life inspire
The lighter frame of fire, whose sparkling eye shines on the summit of the azure sky,
Submit alike to thee, whole general sway all parts of matter, various form'd obey.
All nature's change thro' thy protecting care, and all mankind thy lib'ral bounties share:
For these where'er dispers'd thro' boundless space, still find thy providence support their race.
Come, Bacchanalian, blessed power draw near, fanatic Pan, thy humble suppliant hear,
Propitious to these holy rites attend, and grant my life may meet a prosp'rous end;
Drive panic Fury too, wherever found, from human kind, to earth's remotest bound.

[11] XI. TO HERCULES [HERAKLES]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.
Hear, pow'rful, Hercules [Herakles] untam'd and strong, to whom vast hands, and mighty works belong,
Almighty Titan, prudent and benign, of various forms, eternal and divine,
Father of Time [khronos], the theme of gen'ral praise, ineffable, ador'd in various ways.
Magnanimous, in divination skill'd and in the athletic labours of the field.
'Tis thine strong archer, all things to devour, supreme, all-helping, all-producing pow'r;
To thee mankind as their deliv'rer pray, whose arm can chase the savage tribes away:
Uweary'd, earth's best blossom, offspring fair, to whom calm peace, and peaceful works are dear.
Self-born, with primogenial fires you shine, and various names and strength of heart are thine.
Thy mighty head supports the morning light, and bears untam'd, the silent gloomy night;
From east to west endu'd with strength divine, twelve glorious labours to absolve is thine;
Supremely skill'd, thou reign'st in heav'n's abodes, thyself a God amid'st th' immortal Gods.
With arms unshaken, infinite, divine, come, blessed pow'r, and to our rites incline;
The mitigations of disease convey, and drive disasterous maladies away.
Come, shake the branch with thy almighty arm, dismiss thy darts and noxious fate disarm.

[12] XII. TO SATURN [KRONOS]

The Fumigation from Storax.
Etherial father, mighty Titan, hear, great fire of Gods and men, whom all revere:
Endu'd with various council, pure and strong, to whom perfection and decrease belong.
Consum'd by thee all forms that hourly die, by thee restor'd, their former place supply;
The world immense in everlasting chains, strong and ineffable thy pow'r contains
Father of vast eternity, divine, O mighty Saturn [Kronos], various speech is thine:
Blossom of earth and of the starry skies, husband of Rhea, and Prometheus wife.
Obstetric Nature, venerable root, from which the various forms of being shoot;
No parts peculiar can thy pow'r enclose, diffus'd thro' all, from which the world arose,
O, best of beings, of a subtle mind, propitious hear to holy pray'rs inclin'd;
The sacred rites benevolent attend, and grant a blameless life, a blessed end.

[13] XIII. TO RHEA

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Daughter of great Protogonus, divine, illustrious Rhea, to my pray'r incline,
Who driv'st thy holy car with speed along, drawn by fierce lions, terrible and strong.
Mother of Jove [Zeus], whose mighty arm can wield th' avenging bolt, and shake the dreadful shield.
Drum-beating, frantic, of a splendid mien, brass-sounding, honor'd, Saturn's [Kronos'] blessed queen.
Thou joy'st in mountains and tumultuous fight, and mankind's horrid howlings, thee delight.
War's parent, mighty, of majestic frame, deceitful saviour, liberating dame.
Mother of Gods and men, from whom the earth [Gaia] and lofty heav'ns [Ouranos] derive their glorious birth;
Th' ætherial gales, the deeply spreading sea goddess ærial form'd, proceed from thee.
Come, pleas'd with wand'rings, blessed and divine, with peace attended on our labours shine;
Bring rich abundance, and wherever found drive dire disease, to earth's remotest bound.

[14] XIV. TO JUPITER [ZEUS]

The Fumigation from Storax.
O Jove much-honor'd, Jove [Zeus] supremely great, to thee our holy rites we consecrate,
Our pray'rs and expiations, king divine, for all things round thy head exalted shine.
The earth is thine, and mountains swelling high, the sea profound, and all within the sky.
Saturnian [Kronion] king, descending from above, magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Jove [Zeus];
All-parent, principle and end of all, whose pow'r almighty, shakes this earthly ball;
Ev'n Nature trembles at thy mighty nod, loud-sounding, arm'd with light'ning, thund'ring God.
Source of abundance, purifying king, O various-form'd from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my pray'r, give blameless health, with peace divine, and necessary wealth.

[15] XV. TO JUNO [HERA]

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
O Royal Juno [Hera] of majestic mien, aerial-form'd, divine, Jove's [Zeus'] blessed queen,
Thron'd in the bosom of cærulean air, the race of mortals is thy constant care.
The cooling gales thy pow'r alone inspires, which nourish life, which ev'ry life desires.
Mother of clouds and winds, from thee alone producing all things, mortal life is known:
All natures share thy temp'rament divine, and universal sway alone is thine.
With founding blasts of wind, the swelling sea and rolling rivers roar, when shook by thee.
Come, blessed Goddess, fam'd almighty queen, with aspect kind, rejoicing and serene.

[16] XVI. TO NEPTUNE [POSEIDON]

The Fumigation from Myrrh
Hear, Neptune [Poseidon], ruler of the sea profound, whose liquid grasp begirts the solid ground;
Who, at the bottom of the stormy main, dark and deep-bosom'd, hold'st thy wat'ry reign;
Thy awful hand the brazen trident bears, and ocean's utmost bound, thy will reveres:
Thee I invoke, whose steeds the foam divide, from whose dark locks the briny waters glide;
Whose voice loud founding thro' the roaring deep, drives all its billows, in a raging heap;
When fiercely riding thro' the boiling sea, thy hoarse command the trembling waves obey.
Earth shaking, dark-hair'd God, the liquid plains (the third division) Fate to thee ordains,
'Tis thine, cærulian dæmon, to survey well pleas'd the monsters of the ocean play,
Confirm earth's basis, and with prosp'rous gales waft ships along, and swell the spacious sails;
Add gentle Peace, and fair-hair'd Health beside, and pour abundance in a blameless tide.

[17] XVII. TO PLUTO [PLOUTON]

Pluto [Plouton], magnanimous, whose realms profound are fix'd beneath the firm and solid ground,
In the Tartarian plains remote from fight, and wrapt forever in the depths of night;
Terrestrial Jove [Zeus Khthonios], thy sacred ear incline, and, pleas'd, accept thy mystic's hymn divine.
Earth's keys to thee, illustrious king belong, its secret gates unlocking, deep and strong.
'Tis thine, abundant annual fruits to bear, for needy mortals are thy constant care.
To thee, great king, Avernus is assign'd, the seat of Gods, and basis of mankind.
Thy throne is fix'd in Hade's dismal plains, distant, unknown to rest, where darkness reigns;
Where, destitute of breath, pale spectres dwell, in endless, dire, inexorable hell;
And in dread Acheron, whose depths obscure, earth's stable roots eternally secure.
O mighty dæmon, whose decision dread, the future fate determines of the dead,
With captive Proserpine [Kore], thro' grassy plains, drawn in a four-yok'd car with loosen'd reins,
Rapt o'er the deep, impell'd by love, you flew 'till Eleusina's city rose to view;
There, in a wond'rous cave obscure and deep, the sacred maid secure from search you keep,
The cave of Atthis, whose wide gates display an entrance to the kingdoms void of day.
Of unapparent works, thou art alone the dispensator, visible and known.
O pow'r all-ruling, holy, honor'd light, thee sacred poets and their hymns delight:
Propitious to thy mystic's works incline, rejoicing come, for holy rites are thine.

[18] XVIII. TO THUNDRING JOVE [ZEUS KERAUNOS]

The Fumigation from Storax.
O Father Jove [Zeus], who shak'st with fiery light the world deep-sounding from thy lofty height:
From thee, proceeds th' ætherial lightning's blaze, flashing around intolerable rays.
Thy sacred thunders shake the blest abodes, the shining regions of th' immortal Gods:
Thy pow'r divine, the flaming lightning shrouds, with dark investiture, in fluid clouds.
'Tis thine to brandish thunders strong and dire, to scatter storms, and dreadful darts of fire;
With roaring flames involving all around, and bolts of thunder of tremendous sound.
Thy rapid dart can raise the hair upright, and shake the heart of man with wild afright.
Sudden, unconquer'd, holy, thund'ring God, 'with noise unbounded, flying all abroad;
With all-devouring force, entire and strong, horrid, untam'd, thou roll'st the flames along.
Rapid, ætherial bolt, descending fire, the earth all-parent, trembles at thy ire;
The sea all-shining; and each beast that hears the sound terrific, with dread horror fears:
When Nature's face is bright with flashing fire, and in the heavens resound thy thunders dire.
Thy thunders white, the azure garments tear, and burst the veil of all surrounding air.
O Jove [Zeus], all-blessed, may thy wrath severe, hurl'd in the bosom of the deep appear,
And on the tops of mountains be reveal'd, for thy strong arm is not from us conceal'd.
Propitious to these sacred rites incline, and crown my wishes with a life divine:
Add royal health, and gentle peace beside, with equal reason, for my constant guide.

[19] XIX. To JOVE, as the AUTHOR of LIGHTNING [ZEUS ASTRAPAIOS]

The Fumigation from Frankincense and Manna.
I Call the mighty, holy, splendid light, aerial, dreadful-sounding, fiery-bright;
Flaming, aerial-light, with angry voice, lightning thro' lucid clouds with horrid noise.
Untam'd, to whom resentments dire belong, pure, holy pow'r, all-parent, great and strong:
Come, and benevolent these rites attend, and grant my days a peaceful, blessed end.

[20] XX. TO THE CLOUDS [NEPHELAI]

The Fumigation from Myrrh.
Ærial clouds, thro' heav'n's resplendent plains who wander, parents of prolific rains;
Who nourish fruits, whose water'y frames are hurl'd, by winds impetuous, round the mighty world;
All-thund'ring, lion-roaring, flashing fire, in Air's wide bosom, bearing thunders dire
Impell'd by ev'ry stormy, sounding gale, with rapid course, along the skies ye fail.
With blowing winds your wat'ry frames I call, on mother Earth with fruitful show'rs to fall.

[21] XXI. TO THE SEA [THALASSA], OR TETHYS

The Fumigation from Frankincense and Manna.
Tethys I call, with eyes cærulean bright, hid in a veil obscure from human sight;
Great Ocean's empress, wand'ring thro' the deep, and pleas'd with gentle gales, the earth to sweep;
Whose blessed waves in swift succession go, and lash the rocky shore with endless flow:
Delighting in the Sea serene to play, in ships exulting and the wat'ry way.
Mother of Venus [Kypris], and of clouds obscure, great nurse of beasts, and source of fountains pure.
O venerable Goddess, hear my pray'r, and make benevolent my life thy care;
Send, blessed queen, to ships a prosp'rous breeze, and waft them safely o'er the stormy seas.

[22] XXII. TO NEREUS

The Fumigation from Myrrh.
O Thou, who doff the roots of Ocean [pontos] keep in seats cærulean, dæmon of the deep,
With fifty nymphs (attending in thy train, fair virgin artists) glorying thro' the main:
The dark foundation of the rolling sea and Earth's wide bounds, belong much-fam'd to thee;
Great dæmon, source of all, whose pow'r can make the Earth's [Deo's] unmeasur'd, holy basis shake,
When blust'ring winds in secret caverns pent, by thee excited, struggle hard for vent:
Come, blessed Nereus, listen to my pray'r, and cease to shake the earth with wrath severe;
Send on our sacred rites abundant health, with peace divine and necessary wealth.

[23] XXIII. TO THE NEREIDS

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Daughters of Nereus, resident in caves merg'd deep in Ocean, sporting thro' the waves;
Fanatic fifty nymphs [Nymphai Einalioi], who thro' the main delight to follow in the Triton's train,
Rejoicing close behind their cars to keep; whose forms half wild, are nourish'd by the deep,
With other nymphs of different degree leaping and wand'ring thro' the liquid sea:
Bright, wat'ry dolphins, sonorous and gay, well pleas'd to sport with bachanalian play;
Nymphs beauteous-ey'd, whom sacrifice delights, send rich abundance on our mystic rites;
For you at first disclos'd the rites divine, of holy Bacchus [Bakkhos] and of Proserpine [Phersephoneia],
Of fair Calliope from whom I spring, and of Apollo bright, the Muse's king.

[24] XXIV. TO PROTEUS

The Fumigation from Storax.
Proteus I call, whom Fate decrees, to keep the keys which lock the chambers of the deep;
First-born, by whose illustrious pow'r alone all Nature's principles are clearly shewn:
Matter to change with various forms is thine, matter unform'd, capacious, and divine.
All-honor'd, prudent, whose sagacious mind knows all that was, and is, of ev'ry kind,
With all that shall be in succeeding time; so vast thy wisdom, wond'rous, and sublime:
For all things Nature first to thee consign'd, and in thy essence omniform confin'd.
Come, blessed father, to our rites attend, and grant our happy lives a prosp'rous end.

[25] XXV. TO THE EARTH [GAIA]

The Fumigation from every kind of Seed, except Beans and Aromatics.
O Goddess, Earth, of Gods and men the source, endu'd with fertile, all destroying force;
All-parent, bounding, whose prolific pow'rs, produce a store of beauteous fruits and flow'rs,
All-various maid, th' eternal world's strong base immortal, blessed, crown'd with ev'ry grace;
From whose wide womb, as from an endless root, fruits, many-form'd, mature and grateful shoot.
Deep bosom'd, blessed, pleas'd with grassy plains, sweet to the smell, and with prolific rains.
All flow'ry dæmon, centre of the world, around thy orb, the beauteous stars are hurl'd
With rapid whirl, eternal and divine, whose frames with matchless skill and wisdom shine.
Come, blessed Goddess, listen to my pray'r, and make increase of fruits thy constant care;
With fertile Seasons [Horai] in thy train, draw near, and with propitious mind thy suppliant hear.

[26] XXVI. TO THE MOTHER OF THE GODS [METER THEON]

The Fumigation from a Variety of Odoriferous Substances.
Mother of Gods [Meter Theon], great nurse of all, draw near, divinely honor'd, and regard my pray'r:
Thron'd on a car, by lions drawn along, by bull-destroying lions, swift and strong,
Thou sway'st the sceptre of the pole divine, and the world's middle seat, much-fam'd, is thine.
Hence earth is thine, and needy mortals share their constant food, from thy protecting care:
From thee at first both Gods and men arose; from thee, the sea and ev'ry river flows.
Vesta [Hestia], and source of good, thy name we find to mortal men rejoicing to be kind;
For ev'ry good to give, thy soul delights; come, mighty pow'r, propitious to our rites,
All-taming, blessed, Phrygian saviour, come, Saturn's [Kronos'] great queen, rejoicing in the drum.
Celestial, ancient, life-supporting maid, fanatic Goddess, give thy suppliant aid;
With joyful aspect on our incense shine, and, pleas'd, accept the sacrifice divine.

[27] XXVII. TO MERCURY [HERMES]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.
Hermes, draw near, and to my pray'r incline, angel of Jove [Zeus], and Maia's son divine;
Studious of contests, ruler of mankind, with heart almighty, and a prudent mind.
Celestial messenger, of various skill, whose pow'rful arts could watchful Argus kill:
With winged feet, 'tis thine thro' air to course, O friend of man, and prophet of discourse:
Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine, in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine:
With pow'r endu'd all language to explain, of care the loos'ner, and the source of gain.
Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Corucian, blessed, profitable God;
Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, and in necessities to mortals kind:
Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;
Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, give graceful speech, and me memory's increase.

[28] XXVIII. TO PROSERPINE [PHERSEPHONE]

A Hymn.
Daughter of Jove [Zeus], almighty and divine, come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline:
Only-begotten, Pluto's [Plouton's] honor'd wife, O venerable Goddess, source of life:
'Tis thine in earth's profundities to dwell, fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell:
Jove's [Zeus'] holy offspring, of a beauteous mien, fatal [Praxidike], with lovely locks, infernal queen:
Source of the furies [Eumenides], whose blest frame proceeds from Jove's [Zeus'] ineffable and secret seeds:
Mother of Bacchus [Eubouleos], Sonorous, divine, and many-form'd, the parent of the vine:
The dancing Hours [Horai] attend thee, essence bright, all-ruling virgin, bearing heav'nly light:
Illustrious, horned, of a bounteous mind, alone desir'd by those of mortal kind.
O, vernal queen, whom grassy plains delight, sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight:
Whose holy form in budding fruits we view, Earth's vig'rous offspring of a various hue:
Espous'd in Autumn: life and death alone to wretched mortals from thy power is known:
For thine the task according to thy will, life to produce, and all that lives to kill.
Hear, blessed Goddess, send a rich increase of various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace;
Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my life with blest abundance, free from noisy strife;
Last in extreme old age the prey of Death, dismiss we willing to the realms beneath,
To thy fair palace, and the blissful plains where happy spirits dwell, and Pluto [Plouton] reigns.

[29] XXIX. TO BACCHUS [DIONYSOS]

The Fumigation from Storax.
Bacchus [Dionysos] I call, loud-sounding and divine, fanatic God, a two-fold shape is thine:
Thy various names and attributes I sing, O, first-born, thrice begotten, Bacchic king:
Rural, ineffable, two-form'd, obscure, two-horn'd, with ivy crown'd, euion, pure.
Bull-fac'd, and martial, bearer of the vine, endu'd with counsel prudent [Eubouleos] and divine:
Triennial, whom the leaves of vines adorn, of Jove [Zeus] and Proserpine [Persephoneia], occultly born.
Immortal dæmon, hear my suppliant voice, give me in blameless plenty to rejoice;
And listen gracious to my mystic pray'r, surrounded with thy choir of nurses fair.

[30] XXX. TO THE CURETES [KOURETES]

A Hymn.
Leaping Curetes, who with dancing feet and circling measures, armed footsteps beat:
Whose bosom's mad, fanatic transports fire, who move in rythm to the founding lyre:
Who traces deaf when lightly leaping tread, arm bearers, strong defenders, rulers dread:
Propitious omens, guards of Proserpine [Persephone] preserving rites, mysterious and divine
Come, and benevolent my words attend, (in herds rejoicing), and my life defend.

[31] XXXI. TO PALLAS [ATHENE]

A Hymn.
Only-Begotten, noble race of Jove, blessed and fierce, who joy'st in caves to rove:
O, warlike Pallas, whose illustrious kind, ineffable and effable we find:
Magnanimous and fam'd, the rocky height, and groves, and shady mountains thee delight:
In arms rejoicing, who with Furies dire and wild, the souls of mortals dost inspire.
Gymnastic virgin of terrific mind, dire Gorgons bane, unmarried, blessed, kind:
Mother of arts, imperious; understood, rage to the wicked., wisdom to the good:
Female and male, the arts of war are thine, fanatic, much-form'd dragoness [Drakaina], divine:
O'er the Phlegrean giants rous'd to ire, thy coursers driving, with destruction dire.
Sprung from the head of Jove [Tritogeneia], of splendid mien, purger of evils, all-victorious queen.
Hear me, O Goddess, when to thee I pray, with supplicating voice both night and day,
And in my latest hour, peace and health, propitious times, and necessary wealth,
And, ever present, be thy vot'ries aid, O, much implor'd, art's parent, blue eyed maid.

[32] XXXII. TO VICTORY [NIKE]

The Fumigation from Manna.
O Powerful Victory [Nike], by men desir'd, with adverse breasts to dreadful fury fir'd,
Thee I invoke, whose might alone can quell contending rage, and molestation fell:
'Tis thine in battle to confer the crown, the victor's prize, the mark of sweet renown;
For thou rul'st all things, Victory [Nike] divine! And glorious strife, and joyful shouts are thine.
Come, mighty Goddess, and thy suppliant bless, with sparkling eye, elated with success;
May deeds illustrious thy protection claim, and find, led on by thee immortal Fame.

[33] XXXIII. TO APOLLO [APOLLON]

The Fumigation from Manna.
Blest Pæan, come, propitious to my pray'r, illustrious pow'r, whom Memphian tribes revere,
Slayer of Tityus, and the God of health, Lycorian Phœbus, fruitful source of wealth .
Spermatic, golden-lyr'd, the field from thee receives it's constant, rich fertility.
Titanic, Grunian, Smynthian, thee I sing, Python-destroying, hallow'd, Delphian king:
Rural, light-bearer, and the Muse's head, noble and lovely, arm'd with arrows dread:
Far-darting, Bacchian, two-fold, and divine, pow'r far diffused, and course oblique is thine.
O, Delian king, whose light-producing eye views all within, and all beneath the sky:
Whose locks are gold, whose oracles are sure, who, omens good reveal'st, and precepts pure:
Hear me entreating for the human kind, hear, and be present with benignant mind;
For thou survey'st this boundless æther all, and ev'ry part of this terrestrial ball
Abundant, blessed; and thy piercing sight, extends beneath the gloomy, silent night;
Beyond the darkness, starry-ey'd, profound, the stable roots, deep fix'd by thee are found.
The world's wide bounds, all-flourishing are thine, thyself all the source and end divine:
'Tis thine all Nature's music to inspire, with various-sounding, harmonising lyre;
Now the last string thou tun'ft to sweet accord, divinely warbling now the highest chord;
Th' immortal golden lyre, now touch'd by thee, responsive yields a Dorian melody.
All Nature's tribes to thee their diff'rence owe, and changing seasons from thy music flow
Hence, mix'd by thee in equal parts, advance Summer and Winter in alternate dance;
This claims the highest, that the lowest string, the Dorian measure tunes the lovely spring .
Hence by mankind, Pan-royal, two-horn'd nam'd, emitting whistling winds thro' Syrinx fam'd;
Since to thy care, the figur'd seal's consign'd, which stamps the world with forms of ev'ry kind.
Hear me, blest pow'r, and in these rites rejoice, and save thy mystics with a suppliant voice.

[34] XXXIV. TO LATONA [LETO]

The Fumigation from Myrrh.
Dark veil'd Latona [Leto], much invoked queen, twin-bearing Goddess, of a noble mien;
Cæantis [Koiantis] great, a mighty mind is thine, offspring prolific, blest of Jove [Zeus] divine:
Phœbus proceeds from thee, the God of light, and Dian [Artemis] fair, whom winged darts delight;
She in Ortygia's honor'd regions born, in Delos he, which mountains high adorn.
Hear me, O Goddess, with propitious mind, and end these holy rites, with aspect kind.

[35] XXXV. TO DIANA [ARTEMIS]

The Fumigation from Manna.
Hear me, Jove's [Zeus'] daughter, celebrated queen, Bacchian [Bromia] and Titan, of a noble mien:
In darts rejoicing and on all to shine, torch-bearing Goddess, Dictynna divine;
O'er births presiding, and thyself a maid, to labour-pangs imparting ready aid:
Dissolver of the zone and wrinkl'd care, fierce huntress, glorying in the Sylvan war:
Swift in the course, in dreadful arrows skill'd, wandering by night, rejoicing in the field:
Of manly form, erect, of bounteous mind, illustrious dæmon, nurse of human kind:
Immortal, earthly, bane of monsters fell, 'tis thine; blest maid, on woody hills to dwell:
Foe of the stag, whom woods and dogs delight, in endless youth who flourish fair and bright.
O, universal queen, august, divine, a various form, Cydonian pow'r, is thine:
Dread guardian Goddess, with benignant mind auspicious, come to mystic rites inclin'd
Give earth a store of beauteous fruits to bear, send gentle Peace, and Health with lovely hair,
And to the mountains drive Disease and Care.

[36] XXXVI. TO THE TITANS

The Fumigation from Frankincense.
O Mighty Titans, who from heav'n [Ouranos] and earth [Gaia] derive your noble and illustrious birth,
Our fathers fires, in Tartarus profound who dwell, deep merg'd beneath the solid ground:
Fountains and principles, from whom began th' afflicted, miserable, race of man:
Who not alone in earth's retreats abide, but in the ocean and the air reside;
Since ev'ry species from your nature flows, which all prolific, nothing barren knows:
Avert your rage, if from th' infernal seats one of your tribe should visit our retreats.

[37] XXXVII. TO THE CURETES [KOURETES]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.
Brass-beating Salians, ministers of Mars [Ares], who guard his arms the instruments of wars
Whose blessed frames, heav'n, earth, and sea compose, and from whose breath all animals arose:
Who dwell in Samothracia's sacred ground, defending mortals thro' the sea profound.
Deathless Curetes [Kouretes], by your pow'r alone, initial rites to men at first were shewn:
Who shake old Ocean thund'ring to the sky, and stubborn oaks with branches waving high.
'Tis your's in glittering arms the earth to beat, with lightly-leaping, rapid, sounding feet;
Then every beast the noise terrific flies, and the loud tumult wanders thro' the skies:
The dust your feet excites with matchless force, flies to the clouds amidst their whirling course;
And ev'ry flower of variegated hue, grows in the dancing motion form'd by you.
Immortal dæmons, to your pow'rs consign'd the talk to nourish, and destroy mankind.
When rushing furious with loud tumult dire, o'erwhelm'd, they perish in your dreadful ire;
And live replenish'd with the balmy air, the food of life, committed to your care.
When shook by you, the seas, with wild uproar, wide-spreading, and profoundly whirling, roar:
The concave heav'ns, with Echo's voice resound, when leaves with ruffling noise bestrew the ground.
Curetes, Corybantes, ruling kings, whose praise the land of Samothracia sings:
From Jove [Zeus] descended; whose immortal breath sustains the soul, and wafts her back from death;
Aerial-form'd, much-fam'd, in heav'n ye shine two-fold, in heav'n all-lucid and divine:
Blowing, serene, from whom abundance springs, nurses of seasons, fruit-producing kings.

[38] XXXVIII. TO CORYBAS [KORYBAS]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.
The mighty ruler of this earthly ball, for ever flowing, to these rites I call;
Martial and blest, unseen by mortal sight, preventing fears, and pleas'd with gloomy night:
Hence, fancy's terrors are by thee allay'd, all-various king, who lov'st the desart shade:
Each of thy brothers killing, blood is thine, two-fold Curete [Kourete], many-form'd, divine.
By thee transmuted Ceres' [Deo's] body pure, became a dragon's savage and obscure:
Avert thy anger, hear me when I pray, and by fix'd fate, drive fancy's fears away.

[39] XXXIX. TO CERES [DEMETER ELEUSINIA]

The Fumigation from Storax.
O Universal mother, Ceres [Deo] fam'd august, the source of wealth, and various nam'd:
Great nurse, all-bounteous, blessed and divine, who joy'st in peace, to nourish corn is thine:
Goddess of seed, of fruits abundant, fair, harvest and threshing, are thy constant care;
Who dwell'st in Eleusina's seats retir'd, lovely, delightful queen, by all desir'd.
Nurse of all mortals, whose benignant mind, first ploughing oxen to the yoke confin'd;
And gave to men, what nature's wants require, with plenteous means of bliss which all desire.
In verdure flourishing in honor bright, assessor of great Bacchus [Bromios], bearing light:
Rejoicing in the reapers sickles, kind, whose nature lucid, earthly, pure, we find.
Prolific, venerable, Nurse divine, thy daughter loving, holy Proserpine [Koure]:
A car with dragons yok'd, 'tis thine to guide, and orgies singing round thy throne to ride:
Only-begotten, much-producing queen, all flowers are thine and fruits of lovely green.
Bright Goddess, come, with Summer's rich increase swelling and pregnant, leading smiling Peace;
Come, with fair Concord and imperial Health, and join with these a needful store of wealth.

[40] XL. TO THE CERALIAN MOTHER [METER ANTAIA]

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Ceralian [Antaia] queen, of celebrated name, from whom both men, and Gods immortal came;
Who widely wand'ring once, oppress'd with grief, in Eleusina's valley found'st relief,
Discovering Proserpine [Persephone] thy daughter pure in dread Avernus [Aides], dismal and obscure;
A sacred youth while thro' the world you stray Bacchus [Dysaulos], attending leader of the way;
The holy marriage of terrestrial Jove [Zeus Khthonios] relating, while oppress'd with grief you rove;
Come, much invok'd, and to these rites inclin'd, thy mystic suppliant bless, with fav'ring mind.

  HYMNS 41 - 86 >>
 
RELATED BOOKS