« ForrigeFortsæt »
HYMN TO DIANA.--CALLIMACAUS.
By the Translator of Homer's Hymns.
O! Let us hymn Diana !-- she loves her shafts to throw
On the mountain top, and the beasts they drop under her swaying bow.
'Tis her delight in wood and wild to lead her Virgin throng;
Wo to the Bard that to her regard pays not the meed of song.
And hence will we begin. When a prattler on his knee,
She thus addressed her Father:-“ O! grant me aye to be
A Virgin Queen, and titles great thy little daughter claims;
That Phæbus ne'er may taunt mine ear with all his many names ;
And let me bear the quiver, and let me bear the bow;
Nor gifts I ask, all these I task the Cyclops to bestow.
For they shall point my barbed shafts, and they my quiver fill;
With tunic bare below the knee let me go forth to kill,
And bear the light throughout the night as the deer's red blood I spill.
And of Ocean, sixty daughters, O! grant to me, their Queen,
That yet are in their virgin bloom, and but summers nine have seen ;
And let the banks of Amnisus their twenty Virgins send,
My buskins to prepare and my weary dogs to tend,
When lynx and deer no longer fear, and I my bow unbend. )
Let all the mountain range be mine--and but one city give.
Rarely my feet shall cities greet, on mountains let me live ; .
Then cities only will I see when women on me call,
In child-birth pain, for I retain the lot to succour all ;
The lot the Fates assigned me when first my mother bore,
And without labour laid me down her gentle arms before.'
She spake, and stretched her little arms to stroke her father's beard,
But could not reach; then at her speech the father's heart was cheered ;
He gave his nod approving, and bending down his head,
He sweetly smiled upon his child, and thus in joyance said :-
“O! when such darling offspring shall to my loves be born,
The jealous wrath of Juno I will but laugh to scorn.
Have all thou wilt, sweet daughter, thy wishes perfect be,
And more than thou art asking now thy father gives to thee:
Not one, but thirty cities, my daughter, shall be thine ;
Thrice ten of fame to bear thy name and pay thee rites divine;
Thrice ten shall worship Dian, nor Deity beside
Shall share with thee the bended knee, the sanctity, the pride.
And more, in isle and continent with Phæbus shalt thou share
In due renown of many a town, of many a city fair;
To thee, in all, thy worshippers altars and groves shall raise;
And thou Inspectress shalt be called to guard all ports and ways."
The father spake, and bowed his head, and ratified assent,
Then straight to the Cretean hill, wood-crowned, the Virgin went;
And thence to Ocean, and her choir she chose, herself the queen,
Unspotted virgins all that thrice three summers scarce had seen.
Caratus, River God, was glad-nor Tethys could restrain
The flood of joy their daughters fair to see in Dian's train.
And hence to Lipara she fared, erst Meligunis named,
And there she found beneath the ground the brawny Cyclops famed,
All standing round a mighty mass, a mighty work to make,
From whose broad brink might coursers drink,—this did they undertake
All to fulfil great Neptune's will, and laboured for his sake.
But when the timid virgins the fiery monsters saw-
Each one a mountain Ossa--they stood awhile in awe;
Each in his swarthy forehead one burning eyeball raised,
Vast as a shield that heroes wield, and wondrously it blazed.
And when they heard the dreadful din from all the anvils round,
As out it broke from every stroke and did again rebound;
And the bellows blasting windy roar under their labouring hands,
“ And the deep 'pant-ho' at every blow"* that shook the neighbouring lands
Of Italy and Cyrnus' isle; huge Ætna roared and rang
As the ponderous hammers high they raised, then down with a mighty bang
On bursting brass, or the livid mass, that shook with an iron clang.
Then Ocean's gentle daughters they could not bear the sight,
And at the din, those caves within, they trembled with affright,
As well may be ; for even queens celestial, when long past
Their childhood years, with shuddering fears behold the monsters vast;
And often in their infant state, and difficult to please,
Hard to obey a mother's sway, they hear such words as these :-
“ Come, Cyclops, Arges, Steropes, come take the wayward child ;"
Then Hermes he within besoots his face, and looking wild,
Comes forth a Cyclop grim and gruff ; the affrightened infant flies
To her mother's breast, all closely pressed both hands before her eyes.
But thou, fair Queen Diana, when scarce three summers old-
When thee Latona in her arms, thy mother, yet did hold,
And bore thee, Vulcan calling, to Brontes to bestow
A natal gift, with dauntless thrift, to Brontes thou didst go
And when he took thee on his knee, and to his bosom clasp'd,
The shaggy hair was growing there, thy little hands they grasp'd ;
And tore away, and from that day, hairs grew not on the skin-
As 'twere disease alopeca had kili'd the roots within.
Then spakest thou, still undismay'd " A good Cydonian bow,
All for my sake, ye Cyclops, make, and arrows keen to throw,
And make for me a quiver large, wherein my shafts be slung,
For I, no less than Phæbus, am from Latona sprung:
And if some bristly mountain-boar, or lonely wandering beast
I chance to slay, be yours the prey—the Cyclops it shall feast."
Thou spakest, and the task was done, thou stoodst in arms complete,
Then for thy dogs to Arcady thou faredst–Pan's retreat ;
He then a large Mænalian Lynx in pieces did divide,
For whelp and hound that fed around, as he the flesh supplied.
And willingly the bearded God did then on thee bestow
Two from his pack, half white, half black; three with ears hanging low,
And forward-and one brindled dog, all stanch and hounds of note,
For they would dare the lion's glare, and drag him by the throat,
Yet living, to their home.- Soon more, the Cynosuris breed,
Of scent most true, and to pursue swift as the wind in speed,
To track the antler'd forester, or drive him from his lair
Or bounding fawn, at early dawn, or scent the sleepless harem
To find his secret hiding hole, and drag him from below,
With his bristly chine, the porcupine, and chase the mountain roe.
Then forth thou wentest with thy dogs to the Parrhasian mount,
On whose high crags there stood five stags—they oft had drank the fount
Of dark Anaurus' rocky stream, and on its banks had fed,
All large as bulls, a glorious sight, and their wondrous antlers spread,
Strange to behold, of beaming gold from each majestic head.
Awhile thou stoodst in mute surprise, till words of triumph came,
“ O worthy prize to greet mine eyes, first fruits of Dian's fame"-
Five were the stags- but four didst thou o'ertake in fleetest race,
Nor yet did hound before thee bound, thine only was the chase.
Four, only four, were thine to take, to draw thy chariot wheels,
The fifth one fled. Awhile the bed of Celadon conceals
His panting sides, thence him received the Cerynean Hill
In its defiles—for such the wiles, such jealous Juno's will
Reserved, the last of toils forecast Alcides must fulfil.
Hail, Artemis, Parthenia, hail! thy hands the giants slew :
All golden is thy virgin zone-thine arms of golden hue,
* See the beautiful lines, “ The Forging of the Anchor,” in Maga., Feb., 1932,
And golden is thy chariot seat, and golden are the reins
Thy stags to guide, that in their pride, do champ their golden chains.
And whither did thine antler'd team first bear thee, virgin Queen ?
To Thracian Hæmus-where the blast of Boreas, rustling keen,
Benumbs th' unhous'd inhabitants. Where didst thou cut the pine,
Thy torch ? the flame_say whence it came, that shone with light divine ?
The pine was on Olympus cut, the flame that round it spread
It came from the rays of the fiery blaze thy father's lightnings shed.
How often didst thou try thy bow, what creatures felt the stroke-
The first shaft shot was in an elm—the second in an oak.
The third it struck the mountain beast-the fourth for nobler game-
Nor wounded trees nor savages—the wicked were its aim.
Thine arrow sped-it reached the ways of miserable men,
That truth deny, and justice fly, and make their homes a den
The helpless stranger to despoil_that do all earthly wrong:
O wretched they in their dismay, that feel thine anger strong-
Their cattle perish with disease; dire hailstones crush their corn;
And fathers o'er their sons bewail, that ever they were born.
Their women die in childbirth pains-or captives, or dispers'd,
With dreadful throe, bring forth in wo, babes never to be nurs'd.
But blest are they on whom thou deign'st to look with gentle eye,
Their home and field abundance yield-their corn is waving high,
Their flocks are on a thousand bills, all plenteous is their store,
In peace they dwell, and discord fell is banish'd from their door,
That curse of homes: kind stepmothers beside their daughters sit-
Together feast, of fear releas’d, nor dare a crime admit.
Nor do they die till ripe old age the boon of quiet craves,
And death comes like a gentle thing to bless them in their graves.
O Venerable, O Revered, grant such myself to be ;
My friends be sure, with bosoms pure, and share like love from thee.
O grant me aye the love of song--the strength, the gift, be mine,
Fit to rehearse in sacred verse Latona's race divine-
To hymn the Love of mighty Jove and the twin birth recall-
And that chant unto me grant, where thou art all in all
And there Apollo shall be sung—be all thy deeds my theme,
Thy dogs, thy quiver and thy bow, and eke thy antler'd team,
That bear thee to the courts of Jove, bright-shining all the way,
And at whose gate two Gods await, and homage to thee pay.
First, Hermes takes thy quiver-and Hermes takes thy bow,
And erst if aught thy chariot brought, Apollo laid it low.
'Twas his to take the slaughter'd beasts ere yet Alcides came;
At Heaven's high gates Tyrinthius waits that office now to claim,
Expecting waits, if aught might be, wherewith good feast to make.
Then all Heaven's Host, and Juno most, with mocks Olympus shake;
When they behold the lumbering God drag up th' Olympian floor)
The carcass of a monstrous bull, or savage slaughter'd boar
Dragg'd by his hinder legs, and pant and groan his load before :
Then Dian she thus tauntingly Alcides would address :
“ Thine arrows fling on noxious thing henceforth, that men may bless,
And call thee, too, Preserver, a name to me they give;
Be thine to spare the kid, the hare_let guiltless creatures live.
But wild-boars rend the tender plant, and tear it by the root;
Wild-bulls despoil man's care and toil, and tread it under foot :"
She said ; and dragg’d the monster beast, still toiling as he spoke,
For when the Godhead he put on, in Phrygia 'neath the oak,
He put not off bis gluttony—but keeps his hunger now,
As from that day Theodarnas he slew beneath his plough,
For thee thy loosen'd stags the Nymphs Amnisian comb and feed, )
Sweet trefoil heap, the which they reap from Juno's precious mead,
Such provender the Coursers eat of Jove's celestial breed.
The Nymphs their golden buckets fill from Heaven's pure crystal pool,
That from their brink the Stags may drink, and keep them fresh and cool.
Thou enterest to thy Father's court—the Gods thy presence greet,
There all, to give thee place, arise before thy gentle feet;
But only by Apollo's side hast thou thy golden seat.
O never on that festive day, when thee thy Nymphs surround,
All to resort in wonted sport to thy lov'd hallow'd ground:
Whether upon Inopus' banks, fair river, or the mead
Of Pitane, devote to thee, thou shalt their footsteps lead :
In Limnæ, or the refuge-seat thou seekest in thy fight
From Scythian Taurus, there to shun abominable rite,
In Alæ Araphenides. O never on that day
Let Oxen mine their yokes incline for hire, though large the pay,
And they, of the Stymphalian breed, the best to turn the soil,
Of nine years' strength, with horns of length, and fitted for the toil.
For weary would they bow their necks, and weary would they go,
Back to their stall at even-fall, o'er-labour'd, spent, and slow.
For never yet great Sol, that sheds abroad celestial ray,
That beauteous train on hill or plain beheld, but he must stay
His steeds, and draw his chariot up, all in the heavenly way,
To see the glorious spectacle, and lengthen out the day.
Tell me what Isle thou lovest best, what Mountain, City, Port,
What Nymphs or Maids of heavenly birth that join thy huntress sport?
Inspire me, thou Diana, that I to all may tell,
Best lov'd by thee is Doliche of Islands ; passing well
Thou lovest Perga, chiefest Town—por mountain may compare
With thy Taygetus-haven-stored Euripus is thy care;
And of all thy nymphs and maidens, that lovely are to see,
The Huntress keen, the Cretan Queen, is most belov'd by thee-
Chief Huntress Britomartis, and sure the prey she slew,
Her, Minos, struck with burning love, did nine long months pursue ;
O'er all the many hills of Crete the raging lover sped,
The savage rock, the rugged oak, the marish was her bed ;
Nine months he walk'd the mountain-tops, till from a rocky height,
He nigh had seiz'd the flying maid, that rush'd in wild affright,
And from that mountain precipice herself in terror threw-
Into a Fisher's net she fell—her safe to land they drew.
Th' admiring Cretans hence the name of Britomartis change,
And from that fall • Dictynna call. And that high mountain-range,
Scene of her flight and that pursuit, preserving still the fame
Of the Maiden's leap into the deep, bears like Dictæan name.
There the Cydonians altars built, and annual rites renew;
But pine and mastic boughs alone the festal day must view;
No chaplet of the myrtle leaf, nor wreath must any bear ;
The myrtle caught her in her flight, nor did her mantle tear,
Hence myrtle is a hateful tree, and none may myrtle wear.
Thee, bright-eyed Upsis, heavenly Queen, that givest light to all,
Dictynna from the lovely nymph the wondering Cretans call-
Nor didst thou love Cyrene less, th' Hypsēan nymph, to whom
Two hounds thou gavest; in good stead they served her at the tomb
Of old lölchian Pelias, when she the victory won;
And Procris, spouse of Cephalus, thy loved, thy chosen one,
Is at thy side, her joy, her pride, o'er wilds with thee to run.
More than thine eyes beloved, thy grace fair Auticleia knew.
All these for thee first bared the knee, and o'er their shoulders threw
The quiver fill'd with arrows keen, and bore the bended bow,
And the bared breast above the vest shone out a heavenly show.
läsian Atalanta, swift-footed maid, was thine,
Taught by thy art to fling the dart, and kill the bristly swine.
Nor yet will generous hunters blame thy skill, recounting o'er
The deed was done in Calydon-the hunting of the boar-
For the trophics lie in Arcady, the mighty tusks he wore :
Nor Rhæcus, nor Hylæus, in Hades though they rave,
Could, methinks, deny her archery, or the deadly wounds she gave-
For the envious Centaur's entrails the truth would surely tell,
And the bloody rill on Menalius' hill attest whereon they fell.
Hail, many-shrined Chitone, with all thy cities, hail !
Thon guardian of Miletus_when Neleus raised his sail,
And put from the Cecropian shore, thou, Chesias, wert his guide,
Imbrasia, thou of the heavenly race first-throned, and undenied.
To thee, great Agamemnon, from vengeance long detain'd,
All to assuage thy fatal rage, for thou the winds hadst chained,
Suspended in thy temple high the helm his vessel bore,
When for Rhamnusian Helen's sake they sought the Trojan shore,
And the Greeks they lay in Aulis bay, when Troy should be no more.
Two temples grateful Prætus rear'd, fair Artemis, to thee,
This Corian, from his daughters named, from their mad wanderings free,
And lowings o'er the Ægenian hills; this, Hemeresian, rose
Near Lyssa, for that thou hadst given their frenzied minds repose.
For thee the warlike Amazons, great Queen, a statue made,
In the sea-commanding Ephesus, beneath a beech-tree's shade ;
There Hippo, thy first priestess, served-and as the rites advanced,
First closing round, with a martial sound they clang'd their arms and danced ;
Then to ampler space expanding, the full-form'd chorus beat,
With Saliar skill, as the pipe blows shrill, the measure with their feet-
For not as yet a foe to stag's, Minerva from their bones
Had form'd the flute, and the notes acute assumed their richer tones.
The noise was heard at Sardis-their madd’ning tramplings tore
The Berecynthian fastnesses, that echoed back the roar;
At every bound they shook the ground, and mighty was the clang
Of their loud-rattling quivers, that over their shoulders rang.
And soon around thy statue a stately temple rose
With deep and large foundations_nor the Eastern splendour shows
So sumptuous sight; nor with it vies the far-famed Pythian shrine.
0, mad and lost was Lygdamis, threat'ning these walls divine !
He from the Inachian Bosphorus his hosts Cimmerian led,
And as the sands on countless lands his rushing myriads spread,
O thou, lost Lygdamis, nor thou, nor of thine armed ranks,
Cimmerian brood, whose chariots stood upon Cajster's banks,
Shall one to Scythia e'er return-for Ephesus is thine,
And firm shall stand beneath thy hand, and on thy strength recline.
Munychia- Port-protectress hail, O fair Pheræa hail !
O who thy might, thy love, may slight, thy worship, and prevail !
When Dian's altars Eneus spurn'd, then wretched Eneus knew
What troubles press'd around his breast-how hard ill deeds to rue !
Let none with great Diana dare rashly to contend,
To chase the mountain deer, or the yielding bow to bend;
For dreadful was the penalty the avenging Goddess laid
On Atreus' son, and to the full that penalty he paid.
And never may presumptuous man e'er court her to his bed-
Let Otus and Orion tell how well their wooing sped.
Let none neglect her annual rites-when Hippo's self declined
The choir to lead, what bitter meed did the loved priestess find !
Hail, Goddess, hail, all-powerful hail ! thus I thy praise rehearse ;
Do thou the while vouchsafe to smile propitious on my verse.