Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Songs Sung by Gods

Homeric Hymn to Apollo 189-193 (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn-White):
All the Muses together, voice sweetly answering voice, hymn the unending gifts the gods enjoy and the sufferings of men, all that they endure at the hands of the deathless gods, and how they live witless and helpless and cannot find healing for death or defence against old age.

Μοῦσαι μέν θ' ἅμα πᾶσαι ἀμειβόμεναι ὀπὶ καλῇ
ὑμνεῦσίν ῥα θεῶν δῶρ' ἄμβροτα ἠδ' ἀνθρώπων
τλημοσύνας, ὅσ' ἔχοντες ὑπ' ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι
ζώουσ' ἀφραδέες καὶ ἀμήχανοι, οὐδὲ δύνανται
εὑρέμεναι θανάτοιό τ' ἄκος καὶ γήραος ἄλκαρ.
Homeric Hymn to Hermes 420-433 (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn-White):
And Phoebus Apollo laughed for joy; for the sweet throb of the marvellous music went to his heart, and a soft longing took hold on his soul as he listened. Then the son of Maia, harping sweetly upon his lyre, took courage and stood at the left hand of Phoebus Apollo; and soon, while he played shrilly on his lyre, he lifted up his voice and sang, and lovely was the sound of his voice that followed. He sang the story of the deathless gods and of the dark earth, how at the first they came to be, and how each one received his portion. First among the gods he honored Mnemosyne, mother of the Muses, in his song; for the son of Maia was of her following. And next the goodly son of Zeus hymned the rest of the immortals according to their order in age, and told how each was born, mentioning all in order as he struck the lyre upon his arm.

                      γέλασσε δὲ Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων        420
γηθήσας, ἐρατὴ δὲ διὰ φρένας ἤλυθ᾽ ἰωὴ
θεσπεσίης ἐνοπῆς, καὶ μιν γλυκὺς ἵμερος ᾕρει
θυμῷ ἀκουάζοντα. λύρῃ δ᾽ ἐρατὸν κιθαρίζων
στῆ ῥ᾽ ὅ γε θαρσήσας ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερὰ Μαιάδος υἱὸς
Φοίβου Ἀπόλλωνος, τάχα δὲ λιγέως κιθαρίζων        425
γηρύετ᾽ ἀμβολάδην, ἐρατὴ δέ οἱ ἕσπετο φωνή,
κραίνων ἀθανάτους τε θεοὺς καὶ γαῖαν ἐρεμνήν,
ὡς τὰ πρῶτα γένοντο καὶ ὡς λάχε μοῖραν ἕκαστος.
Μνημοσύνην μὲν πρῶτα θεῶν ἐγέραιρεν ἀοιδῇ
μητέρα Μουσάων, ἣ γὰρ λάχε Μαιάδος υἱόν·        430
τοὺς δὲ κατὰ πρέσβιν τε καὶ ὡς γεγάασιν ἕκαστος
ἀθανάτους ἐγέραιρε θεοὺς Διὸς ἀγλαὸς υἱός,
πάντ᾽ ἐνέπων κατὰ κόσμον, ἐπωλένιον κιθαρίζων.

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