Andare, Partire, Tornare

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To Demeter

I begin to sing of lovely-haired Demeter, the godess august,
Of her and her slender-ankled daughter to whom Zeus,
Far-seeing and loud-thundering, gave to Aidoneus to abduct.
Away from her mother of the golden sword and the splendid fruit
She played with the full-bosomed daughters of Okeanos,
Gathering flowers, roses, crocuses, and beautiful violets
All over a soft meadow; irises, too, and hancinths she picked,
And narcissus, which gaia, pleasing the All-receiver,
Made blossom there, by th ewill of Zeus, for a girl with a flower’s
Beauty.
A lure it was, wonderous and radiant, and a marvel to be seen by
Immortal gods and mortal men.
A hundred stems of sweet-smelling blossoms
Grew from its roots. The wide sky above
And the whole earth and the briny swell of the sea laughed.
She was dazzled and reached out with both hands at once
To take the pretty bauble; earth with its wide roads gaped
And then over the Nysian field the lord and All-receiver,
The many-named son of Kronos, sprang out upon her with his
Immortal horses.
Against her will he seized her and on his golden chariot
Carried her away as she wailed; and she raised a shrill cry,
Calling upon father Kronides, the highest and the best.
None of the immortals or of mortal men heard
Her voice, not even the olive trees bearing splendid fruit.

“To Demeter”, in the Homeric Hymns (exerpt)

4:15 p.m. - 2005-05-26

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