Orphic Hymn 0 — To Musaeus

Attend Musæus to my sacred song, and learn what rites to sacrifice belong.
Jove [Zeus] I invoke, the Earth [Gaia], and Solar Light [Helios], the Moon’s [Mene] pure splendor, and the Stars of night;
Thee Neptune [Poseidon], ruler of the sea profound, dark-hair’d, whose waves begirt the solid ground;
Ceres [Demeter] abundant, and of lovely mien, and Proserpine [Phersephone] infernal Pluto’s [Haides] queen
The huntress Dian [Artemis], and bright Phœbus rays, far-darting God, the theme of Delphic praise;
And Bacchus [Dionysos], honour’d by the heav’nly choir, and raging Mars [Ares], and Vulcan [Hephaistos] god of fire;
The mighty pow’r who rose from foam to light, and Pluto potent in the realms of night;
With Hebe young, and Hercules the strong, and you to whom the cares of births [Eileithyia] belong:
Justice [Dikaisune] and Piety [Eusebia] august I call, and much-fam’d nymphs, and Pan the god of all.
To Juno [Hera] sacred, and to Mem’ry [Mnemosyne] fair, and the chaste Muses I address my pray’r;
The various year, the Graces [Kharites], and the Hours [Horai], fair-hair’d Latona [Leto], and Dione’s pow’rs;
Armed Curetes, household Gods [Korybantes, Kouretes, Kabeiroi] I call, with those [Soteroi] who spring from Jove [Zeus] the king of all:
Th’ Idæan Gods, the angel of the skies, and righteous Themis, with sagacious eyes;
With ancient Night [Nyx], and Day-light [Hemara] I implore, and Faith [Pistis], and Justice [Dike] dealing right adore;
Saturn [Kronos] and Rhea, and great Thetis too, hid in a veil of bright celestial blue:
I call great Ocean [Okeanos], and the beauteous train of nymphs, who dwell in chambers of the main;
Atlas the strong, and ever in its prime, vig’rous Eternity [Aion], and endless Time [Khronos];
The Stygian pool [Styx], and placid Gods [Meilikhoi] beside, and various Genii [Daimones], that o’er men preside;
Illustrious Providence [Pronoia], the noble train of dæmon forms, who fill th’ ætherial plain;
Or live in air, in water, earth, or fire, or deep beneath the solid ground retire.
Bacchus [Dionysos] and Semele the friends of all, and white Leucothea of the sea I call;
Palæmon bounteous, and Adrastria great, and sweet-tongu’d Victory [Nike], with success elate;
Great Esculapius [Asklepios], skill’d to cure disease, and dread Minerva [Athene], whom fierce battles please;
Thunders [Brontoi] and Winds [Anemoi] in mighty columns pent, with dreadful roaring struggling hard for vent;
Attis, the mother of the pow’rs on high, and fair Adonis, never doom’d to die,
End and beginning he is all to all, these with propitious aid I gently call;
And to my holy sacrifice invite, the pow’r who reigns in deepest hell and night;
I call Einodian Hecate, lovely dame, of earthly, wat’ry, and celestial frame,
Sepulchral, in a saffron veil array’d, leas’d with dark ghosts that wander thro’ the shade;
Persian, unconquerable huntress hail! The world’s key-bearer never doom’d to fail
On the rough rock to wander thee delights, leader and nurse be present to our rites
Propitious grant our just desires success, accept our homage, and the incense bless.
This is a TRANSLATION of the Orphic hymn TO MUSÆUS, and the poet who did the translation used the Roman names for the Gods. However, this poem served as an introduction to the rest of the hymns which are each devoted to a single God or Goddess. In future entries we will be looking at the individual hymns with an eye to what each is saying.

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