Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Hymn to Hygeia

Orphic Hymns 68, tr. Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow, The Orphic Hymns (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), pp. 54-55:
Charming queen of all,
    lovely and blooming,
blessed Hygeia, mother of all,
    bringer of bliss, hear me.
Through you vanish        3
    the illnesses that afflict man,
through you every house
    blossoms to the fullness of joy.
The arts thrive when the world
    desires you, O queen,
loathed by Hades,        6
    the destroyer of souls.
Apart from you all is
    without profit for men:
wealth, the sweet giver of abundance
    for those who feast, fails,
and man never reaches        9
    the many pains of old age.
Goddess, come, ever-helpful
    to the initiates,
keep away the evil distress
    of unbearable diseases.
The Greek, from Gabriella Ricciardelli, ed., Inni orfici (Rome: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, 2000), p. 174:
Ἱμερόεσσ', ἐρατή, πολυθάλμιε, παμβασίλεια,
κλῦθι, μάκαιρ' Ὑγίεια, φερόλβιε, μῆτερ ἁπάντων·
ἐκ σέο γὰρ νοῦσοι μὲν ἀποφθινύθουσι βροτοῖσι,
πᾶς δὲ δόμος θάλλει πολυγηθὴς εἵνεκα σεῖο,
καὶ τέχναι βρίθουσι· ποθεῖ δέ σε κόσμος, ἄνασσα,        5
μοῦνος δὲ στυγέει σ' Ἀίδης ψυχοφθόρος αἰεί,
ἀιθαλής, εὐκταιοτάτη, θνητῶν ἀνάπαυμα·
σοῦ γὰρ ἄτερ πάντ' ἐστὶν ἀνωφελῆ ἀνθρώποισιν·
οὔτε γὰρ ὀλβοδότης πλοῦτος γλυκερὸς θαλίῃσιν,
οὔτε γέρων πολύμοχθος ἄτερ σέο γίγνεται ἀνήρ·        10
πάντων γὰρ κρατέεις μούνη καὶ πᾶσιν ἀνάσσεις.
ἀλλά, θεά, μόλε μυστιπόλοις ἐπιτάρροθος αἰεὶ
ῥυομένη νούσων χαλεπῶν κακόποτμον ἀνίην.
For a commentary see Ricciardelli, pp. 485-487.

Related post: Hymn to Health.

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