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Maidens with voices like honey for sweetness, that breathe desire,

See I faint; for no sea-bird I, as I would be, nor tire

Over the foam-flowers flyig with halcyons ever on wing,

Keeping a careless heart, a sea-blue bird of the Spring.


There is such a thing as the vengeance of the gods:

that man is blessed who devoutly weaves to the

end the web of his day unweeping.

And so I sing of the brightness of Agido: I see her

like the sun, which Agido summons to shine on us as

our witness


Asleep lie mountain-top and mountain-gully,

shoulder also and ravine; the creeping-things

that come from the dark earth,

the beasts whose lying is upon the hillside,

the generation of the bees,

the monsters in the depths of the purple brine,

all lie asleep, and with them the tribes of the winging birds.


Over the drowsy earth still night prevails;
Calm sleep the mountain tops and shady vales,
The rugged cliffs and hollow glens;
The cattle on the hill. Deep in the sea,
The countless finny race and monster brood
Tranquil repose. Even the busy bee
Forgets her daily toil. The silent wood
No more with noisy hum of insect rings;
And all the feathered tribes, by gentle sleep subdued,
Roost in the glade, and hang their drooping wings.


Over kloven en ravijnen,

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,

Het bijenvolk,

En de monsters in de diepte van de luidbruisende zee.

En ook de wijdgevlerkte vogels slapen

Vertaling  : H. VERBRUGGEN

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