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Demeter

 




Hymns to Demeter/Ceres:

I begin to sing of rich-haired Demeter, awful goddess -- of her and her trim-ankled daughter whom Aidoneus [Hades] rapt away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer....And now, queen of the land of sweet Eleusis and sea-girt Paros and rocky Antron, lady, giver of good gifts, bringer of seasons, queen Deo, be gracious, you and your daughter all beauteous Persephone, and for my song grant me heart-cheering substance. And now I will remember you and another song also.

Homeric Hymn
Translation by Evelyn-White



O Universal mother, Ceres 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, bearing light:
Rejoicing in the reapers sickles, kind,
Whose nature lucid, earthly, pure, we find.
Prolific, venerable, Nurse divine,
Thy daughter loving, holy Proserpine:
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.

Orphic Hymn
Translation by Thomas Taylor



To the Ceralian Mother
Ceralian Queen, of celebrated name,
From whom both men, and Gods immortal came;
Who widely wandering once, oppressed with grief,
In Eleusina's valley found relief,
Discovering Proserpine thy daughter pure
In dread Avernus, dismal and obscure;
A sacred youth while through the world you stray
Bacchus, attending leader of the way;
The holy marriage of terrestrial Jove
Relating, while oppressed with grief you rove;
Come, much invoked, and to these rites inclined,
Thy mystic suppliant bless, with favoring mind.

The Fumigation from Aromatics
(Hymns of Orpheus, trans. Taylor)


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