Drawn by fierce lions — The Orphic Hymn to Rhea

“Daughter of great Protogonus, divine,  illustrious Rhea, to my pray’r incline, Who driv’st thy holy car with speed along,  drawn by fierce lions, terrible and strong.  Mother of Jove [Zeus], whose mighty arm can wield  th’ avenging bolt, and shake the dreadful shield. Drum-beating, frantic, of a splendid mien,  brass-sounding, honor’d, Saturn’s [Kronos’] blessed queen.…

Of the lightning — Orphic Hymn to Zeus Astrapaios

I Call the mighty, holy, splendid light,  aerial, dreadful-sounding, fiery-bright; Flaming, aerial-light, with angry voice,  lightning thro’ lucid clouds with horrid noise. Untam’d, to whom resentments dire belong,  pure, holy pow’r, all-parent, great and strong: Come, and benevolent these rites attend,  and grant my days a peaceful, blessed end. This is an interesting Hymn in…

Celestial Messenger — The Orphic Hymn to Hermes

Hermes, draw near, and to my pray’r incline,  angel of Jove [Zeus], and Maia’s son divine; Studious of contests, ruler of mankind,  with heart almighty, and a prudent mind. Celestial messenger, of various skill,  whose pow’rful arts could watchful Argus kill: With winged feet, ’tis thine thro’ air to course,  O friend of man, and…

Bearer of the Vine — an Orphic Hymn to Dionysus Liknitos

Liknitan Bacchus [Liknitos Dionysos], bearer of the vine,  thee I invoke to bless these rites divine: Florid and gay, of nymphs the blossom bright,  and of fair Venus [Aphrodite], Goddess of delight, ‘Tis thine mad footsteps with mad nymphs to beat,  dancing thro’ groves with lightly leaping feet: From Jove’s [Zeus’] high counsels nurst by…

Charming to the sight — The Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite

Heav’nly [Ourania], illustrious, laughter-loving queen,  sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien; Crafty, from whom necessity [Ananke] first came,  producing, nightly, all-connecting dame: ‘Tis thine the world with harmony to join,  for all things spring from thee, O pow’r divine. The triple Fates [Moirai] are rul’d by thy decree,  and all productions yield alike to thee:…

Python-Destroying, hallowed, Delphian king — The Orphic Hymn to Apollo

Blest Pæan, come, propitious to my pray’r,  illustrious pow’r, whom Memphian tribes revere, Slayer of Tityus, and the God of health,  Lycorian Phœbus, fruitful source of wealth . Spermatic, golden-lyr’d, the field from thee  receives it’s constant, rich fertility. Titanic, Grunian, Smynthian, thee I sing,  Python-destroying, hallow’d, Delphian king: Rural, light-bearer, and the Muse’s head,…

In darts rejoicing — The Orphic Hymn to Artemis

Hear me, Jove’s [Zeus’] daughter, celebrated queen,  Bacchian [Bromia] and Titan, of a noble mien: In darts rejoicing and on all to shine,  torch-bearing Goddess, Dictynna divine; O’er births presiding, and thyself a maid,  to labour-pangs imparting ready aid: Dissolver of the zone and wrinkl’d care,  fierce huntress, glorying in the Sylvan war: Swift in…