Friday, November 03, 2017


Hymn to the Moon

Orphic Hymns, 9: To Selene (tr. Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow):
Hear me, O divine queen,
O light-bringing and splendid Selene,
O bull-horned Moon,
crossing the air as you race with night.
Nocturnal, torch-bearing,        3
maiden of beautiful stars, O Moon,
waxing and waning,
feminine and masculine,
luminous, lover of horses,
mother of time, bearer of fruit,
amber-colored, moody,        6
shining in the night,
all-seeing and vigilant,
surrounded by beautiful stars,
you delight in the quiet
and in the richness of the night,
you grant fulfillment and favor        9
as, like a jewel, you shine in the night.
Long-cloaked marshal of the stars,
wise maiden whose motion is circular,
come, O blessed and gentle lady,
lady of the stars, through your own light
shine and save, O maiden,        12
your new initiates.
The Greek, from Wilhelm Quandt, ed., Orphei Hymni, 2nd ed. (1955; rpt. Hildesheim: Weidmann, 2005), p. 9:
Κλῦθι, θεὰ βασίλεια, φαεσφόρε, δῖα Σελήνη,
ταυρόκερως Μήνη, νυκτιδρόμε, ἠεροφοῖτι,
ἐννυχία, δαιδοῦχε, κόρη, εὐάστερε, † Μήνη,
αὐξομένη καὶ λειπομένη, θῆλύς τε καὶ ἄρσην,
αὐγάστειρα, φίλιππε, χρόνου μῆτερ, φερέκαρπε,        5
ἠλεκτρίς, βαρύθυμε, καταυγάστειρα, † νυχία,
πανδερκής, φιλάγρυπνε, καλοῖς ἄστροισι βρύουσα,
ἡσυχίηι χαίρουσα καὶ εὐφρόνηι ὀλβιομοίρωι,
λαμπετίη, χαριδῶτι, τελεσφόρε, νυκτὸς ἄγαλμα,
ἀστράρχη, τανύπεπλ', ἑλικοδρόμε, πάνσοφε κούρη,        10
ἐλθέ, μάκαιρ', εὔφρων, εὐάστερε, φέγγεϊ τρισσῶι
λαμπομένη, σώζουσα νέους ἱκέτας σέο, κούρη.
In line 11 the translators keep the manuscript τῷ σῷ (not Platt's conjecture τρισσῷ, which Quandt adopts).

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