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p. 171




O Universal mother, Ceres fam'd
August, the source of wealth, and various nam'd:  2
Great nurse, all-bounteous, blessed and divine,
Who joy'st in peace, to nourish corn is thine:
Goddess of seed, of fruits abundant, fair, 5
Harvest and threshing, are thy constant care;
Who dwell'st in Eleusina's seats retir'd,
Lovely, delightful queen, by all desir'd.
Nurse of all mortals, whose benignant mind,
First ploughing oxen to the yoke confin'd; 10
And gave to men, what nature's wants require,
With plenteous means of bliss which all desire.
In verdure flourishing in honor bright,
Assessor of great Bacchus, bearing light:

p. 172

Rejoicing in the reapers sickles, kind, 15
Whose nature lucid, earthly, pure, we find.
Prolific, venerable, Nurse divine,
Thy daughter loving, holy Proserpine:
A car with dragons yok'd, 'tis thine to guide,  19
And orgies singing round thy throne to ride: 20
Only-begotten, much-producing queen,
All flowers are thine and fruits of lovely green.
Bright Goddess, come, with Summer's rich increase
Swelling and pregnant, leading smiling Peace;
Come, with fair Concord and imperial Health, 25
And join with these a needful store of wealth.


171:2 Ver. 2.] The source of wealth. The following Orphic verse is preserved to us by Diodorus Siculus, i. 32,. which perfectly agrees with the present Hymn.

Γῆ μήτηρ πάντων, Δημήτηρ, πλυτοδότειρα.

That is, "Earth, mother of all things, Ceres, source of wealth."

172:19 Ver. 19.] A car with dragons yok'd. Since, according to our notes on the preceding Hymn to Corybas, Ceres, or the Earth, is represented by Orpheus under the form of an obscure dragon, it is not wonderful that she should be drawn by dragons.

Next: XL. To The Ceralian Mother