Over the drowsy earth still night prevails;
Over hoogten en bergtoppen en lover
Hangt donker thans de nacht.
Nu slapen reptielen
En alwat de vruchtbare aarde voedt :
Het wild in de bergen,
En de monsters in de diepte van de luidbruisende zee.
En ook de wijdgevlerkte vogels slapen
Hymn to Artemis …..
And there is the vengeance of the gods.
He is a happy man who can weave his days,
No trouble upon the loom.
And I, I sing of Agido,
Of her light. She is like the sun
To which she makes our prayers,
The witness of its radiance.
Yet I can neither praise her nor blame her
Till I have sung of another,
Sung of our choirmaster,
Who stands among us as in a pasture
One splendid stallion
Paws the meadow, a champion racer,
A horse that runs in dreams.
Imagine her if you can. Her hair,
As gold as a Venetian mane,
Flowers around her silver eyes.
What can I say to make you see?
She is Hagesikhora and
Agido, almost, almost as beautiful,
Is a Kolaxaian filly running behind her
In the races at Ibeno.
A Pleiades of doves they are
Contending at dawn before the altar of Artemis
For the honor of offering the sacred plow
Which we have brought to the goddess.
They are the white star Sirius rising
In the honey and spice of a summer night.
And she is, she is our own,
The splendid-ankled Hagesikhora!
With Agido, by whose side she lingers,
She honors the rites with her beauty.
Accept her prayers O gods,
For she is your handiwork,
Perfect of her kind.
And I, I, O Choirmaster,
Am but an ordinary girl.
I hoot like an owl in the roof.
I long to worship the goddess of the dawn
Whose gift is peace. For Hagesikhora
We sing, for her we virgin girls
Make our lovely harmonies.
Translation Guy DAVENPORT