DAUGHTER of great Protogonus, divine, 1
Illustrious Rhea, to my pray'r incline,
Who driv'st thy holy car with speed along,
Drawn by fierce lions, terrible and strong. 4
Mother of Jove, whose mighty arm can wield 5
Th' avenging bolt, and shake the dreadful shield.
Drum-beating, frantic, of a splendid mien, 7
Brass-sounding, honor'd, Saturn's blessed queen.
Thou joy'st in mountains and tumultuous fight,
And mankind's horrid howlings, thee delight. 10
War's parent, mighty, of majestic frame,
Deceitful saviour, liberating dame. 12
Mother of Gods and men, from whom the earth
And lofty heav'ns derive their glorious birth;
Th' ætherial gales, the deeply spreading sea 15
Goddess ærial form'd, proceed from thee.
Come, pleas'd with wand'rings, blessed and divine,
With peace attended on our labours shine;
Bring rich abundance, and wherever found
Drive dire disease, to earth's remotest bound. 20
137:1 Ver. 1.] Daughter of great Protogonus. In the note to Hercules it appears that Rhea is one of the progeny of the intellectual earth, resident in Phanes; and from the note to Hymn 5, to Protogonus, we learn from Proclus, that Phanes is to be considered in the intelligible as well as in the intellectual orders. Hence Rhea is, with perfect agreement to the Orphic theology, the daughter of Protogonus, considered as subsisting among the intelligible Gods.
137:* Rhea, according to the Orphic and Platonic theology, is one of the zoogonic or vivific principles of the universe; having a maternal rank among the universal paternal orders, i. e. between Saturn and Jupiter. Hence she calls forth the causes latent in Saturn to the procreation of the universe; and definitely unfolds all the genera of the Gods. So that she is filled from Saturn, with an intelligible and prolific power, which she imparts to Jupiter the demiurgus of the universe; filling his essence with a vivific abundance. Since this Goddess then is a medium between the two intellectual parents of the universe, Saturn and Jupiter, the former of which collects intellectual multitude into one, but the other scatters and divides it. Hence says Proclus, in Theol. Plat. p. 266. this Goddess produces in herself the demiurgic causes of the universe; but imparts her diffusive power abundantly to secondary natures. On p. 138 this account Plato assimilates her prolific abundance to the flowing of waters; signifying nothing more by the word flowing, than that fontal power, by which she singularly contains the divine rivers of life. And, p. 267. Proclus informs us, that this Goddess, according to Orpheus, when considered as united to Saturn by the most exalted part of her essence, is called Rhea: but considered as producing Jupiter, and, together with Jove, unfolding the universal and particular orders of the Gods, she is called Ceres.
138:4 Ver. 4.] Drawn by fierce lions, &c. I have here followed the correction of Pierson, who reads ταυροφονων for ταυροφορον: for Rhea is the same with the mother of the Gods, who is celebrated in the Hymn to her, as seated in a car drawn by lions.
138:7 Ver. 7.] Drum-beating. Rhea, in the Orphic theology, is among the mundane divinities, the earth. Hence, according to Varro, she is represented with a drum; because that instrument is a symbol of the earth. August. dc Civitat. lib. vii.
139:12 XIII Ver. 12.] Deceitful saviour. When Jupiter was born (says the fable) his mother Rhea in order to deceive Saturn, gave him a stone wrapped in swaddling bands, in the place of Jove; informing him that was her offspring. Saturn immediately devoured the stone; and Jupiter who was privately educated, at length obtained the government of the world. With great propriety, therefore, is she called by the poet a deceitful saviour. This fable, according to Phurnutus, signifies the creation of the world. For at that time Nature (which among elementary essences is the same with Jupiter) was then nourished in the world, and at length prevailed. The stone devoured by Saturn is the earth, alluding to its firmly occupying the middle place: for says Phurnutus, beings could not abide without such a foundation for their support. From this all things are produced, and derive their proper aliment. Opusc. Mythol. p. 147.