Espoused in Autumn — The Orphic Hymn to Persephone

“Daughter of Jove [Zeus], almighty and divine,  come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline: Only-begotten, Pluto’s [Plouton’s] honor’d wife,  O venerable Goddess, source of life: ‘Tis thine in earth’s profundities to dwell,  fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell: Jove’s [Zeus’] holy offspring, of a beauteous mien,  fatal [Praxidike], with lovely locks,…

The world’s key-bearer — An Orphic Hymn to Hecate

“Hekate Einodia, Trioditis [Trivia], lovely dame,  of earthly, watery, and celestial frame,  sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed,  pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade;  Perseis, solitary goddess, hail!  The world’s key-bearer, never doomed to fail;  in stags rejoicing, huntress, nightly seen,  and drawn by bulls, unconquerable queen;  Leader, Nymphe, nurse, on mountains…

Diffusing silver light — The Orphic Hymn to Selene

“Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light,  bull-horn’d and wand’ring thro’ the gloom of Night. With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide  Night’s torch extending, thro’ the heav’ns you ride: Female and Male with borrow’d rays you shine,  and now full-orb’d, now tending to decline. Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon [Mene],  whose amber orb makes Night’s…

All-parent, bounding — The Orphic Hymn to Gaia

“O Goddess, Earth, of Gods and men the source,  endu’d with fertile, all destroying force; All-parent, bounding, whose prolific pow’rs,  produce a store of beauteous fruits and flow’rs, All-various maid, th’ eternal world’s strong base  immortal, blessed, crown’d with ev’ry grace; From whose wide womb, as from an endless root,  fruits, many-form’d, mature and grateful…

Great nurse of all — Orphic hymn to the Mother of the Gods

“Mother of Gods [Meter Theon], great nurse of all, draw near,  divinely honor’d, and regard my pray’r: Thron’d on a car, by lions drawn along,  by bull-destroying lions, swift and strong, Thou sway’st the sceptre of the pole divine,  and the world’s middle seat, much-fam’d, is thine. Hence earth is thine, and needy mortals share…

Fountains and Principles — The Orphic Hymn to the Titans.

“O Mighty Titans, who from heav’n [Ouranos] and earth [Gaia]  derive your noble and illustrious birth, Our fathers fires, in Tartarus profound  who dwell, deep merg’d beneath the solid ground: Fountains and principles, from whom began  th’ afflicted, miserable, race of man: Who not alone in earth’s retreats abide,  but in the ocean and the…