Monday, February 01, 2016


Mother Earth

Homeric Hymn 30.1-16 (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, modified by me):
I will sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all,
eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world,
all that go upon the goodly land and in the sea,
and all that fly: all these are fed of her store.
Through you men are blessed in their children and in their harvests,        5
O queen, and to you it belongs to give means of life and to take it away
from mortal men. Happy is the man whom you in your heart
delight to honor! He has all things abundantly:
his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures
thrive with cattle, and his house is filled with good things.        10
Such men with good order in their cities of fair women
hold sway: great riches and wealth follow them:
their sons exult with ever-fresh delight,
and their daughters in flower-laden bands merrily
play and skip over the soft flowers of the field.        15
Thus is it with those whom you honor, O holy goddess, bountiful spirit.

Γαῖαν παμμήτειραν ἀείσομαι, ἠϋθέμεθλον,
πρεσβίστην, ἣ φέρβει ἐπὶ χθονὶ πάνθ᾿ ὁπόσ᾿ ἐστίν,
ἠμὲν ὅσα χθόνα δῖαν ἐπέρχεται ἠδ᾿ ὅσα πόντον
ἠδ᾿ ὅσα πωτῶνται, τὰ δὲ φέρβεται ἐκ σέθεν ὄλβου.
ἐκ σέο δ᾿ εὔπαιδές τε καὶ εὔκαρποι τελέθουσι,        5
πότνια, σεῦ δ᾿ ἔχεται δοῦναι βίον ἠδ᾿ ἀφελέσθαι
θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποισιν· ὃ δ᾿ ὄλβιος, ὅν κε σὺ θυμῷ
πρόφρων τιμήσῃς· τῷ τ᾿ ἄφθονα πάντα πάρεστι.
βρίθει μέν σφιν ἄρουρα φερέσβιος ἠδὲ κατ᾿ ἀγρούς
κτήνεσιν εὐθηνεῖ, οἶκος δ᾿ ἐμπίμπλαται ἐσθλῶν·        10
αὐτοὶ δ᾿ εὐνομίῃσι πόλιν κάτα καλλιγύναικα
κοιρανέουσ᾿, ὄλβος δὲ πολὺς καὶ πλοῦτος ὀπηδεῖ·
παῖδες δ᾿ εὐφροσύνῃ νεοθηλέϊ κυδιόωσι,
παρθενικαί τε χοροῖς πολυανθέσιν εὔφρονι θυμῷ
παίζουσαι σκαίρουσι κατ᾿ ἄνθεα μαλθακὰ ποίης,        15
οὕς κε σὺ τιμήσῃς, σεμνὴ θεά, ἄφθονε δαῖμον.
I don't have access to the commentary of Allen, Halliday, and Sikes. A couple of notes to myself:

2: cf. Sophocles, Philoctetes 391, who calls Mother Earth παμβῶτι.
6-7: cf. Pseudo-Homer, Epigrams 7 (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn-White):
Queen Earth, all bounteous, giver of honey-hearted wealth,
how kindly, it seems, you are to some,
and how intractable and rough for those with whom you are angry.

Πότνια Γῆ πάνδωρε, δότειρα μελίφρονος ὄλβου,
ὡς ἄρα δὴ τοῖς μὲν φωτῶν εὔοχθος ἐτύχθης,
τοῖσι δὲ δύσβωλος καὶ τρηχεῖ᾿, οἷς ἐχολώθης.
Related post: Precatio Terrae.

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