Homeric Hymn to Apollo

1 I shall remember not to neglect Apollon who shoots afar.
The gods of the house of Zeus tremble at his coming,
and indeed all spring up from their seats
as he approaches, stringing his splendid bow.
Leto alone remains by Zeus who delights in thunder
and she is the one to unstring Apollon’s bow and close the quiver;
from his mighty shoulders with her hands she takes
the bow and hangs it up on a golden peg
on her father’s pillar, and after that she leads him to a seat.
10 Then his father offers him nectar in a golden goblet
and drinks a toast to his dear son; and then
the other gods sit down as mighty Leto rejoices,
because she bore a valiant son who carries the bow.
Hail, O blessed Leto, because you bore illustrious children,
lord Apollon and arrow-pouring Artemis,
her on Ortygia and him on rocky Delos,
as you leaned against the towering mass of the Kynthian hill,
very near a palm tree by the streams of the Inopos.
How shall I match the hymns already sung in your honor?
20 For everywhere, Phoibos, the field of singing is your domain,
both on the islands and the mainland which nurtures heifers.
All peaks and high ridges of lofty mountains
and rivers flowing seawards and harbors of the sea
and beaches sloping toward it give you pleasure.
Shall I sing how first Leto bore you, a joy to mortals,
as she leaned against Mount Kynthos, on the rocky and sea-girt
island of Delos, while on either side a dark wave
swept landwards impelled by shrill winds?
Thence you arose to rule over all mortal men:
30 over the inhabitants of Crete and of the town of Athens,
of Aigina and Euboea, famous for ships,
of Aigai and Eiresiai and Peparethos by the sea,
of Thracian Athas and Pelion’s lofty peaks,
of Thracian Samas and Ida’s shady mountains,
of Skyros and Phokaia and Autokane’s steep heights,
of well-built Imbros and Lemnos, enveloped in haze,
of holy Lesbos, realm of Makar, son of Aiolos,
of Chios, brightest of all the islands lying in the sea,
of craggy Mimas and the lofty peaks of Korykos,
40 of shimmering Klaros and Aisagee’s steep heights,
of well-watered Samas and Mykale’s towering peaks,
of Miletos and Kos, city of Meropian men,
of rugged Knidos and wind-swept Karpathos,
of Naxos and Paras and rocky Rhenaia.
So many places did Leto visit, in travail with the far-shooter,
searching for a land which would give him a home.
But they trembled greatly in fear, and none darednot
even the richer ones-to be a host to Phoibos,
until indeed mighty Leto set foot on Delos
50 and made an inquiry, addressing winged words to her:
“Delos, would you want to be the abode of my son,
Phoibos Apollon, and to house him in an opulent temple?
For it cannot escape you that no other will touch you
since I think you shall never be rich in oxen or sheep
and shall never produce vintage nor grow an abundance of plants.
If you have a temple for Apollon who shoots from afar,
then all men shall gather here and bring
hecatombs, and the ineffably rich savor of burning fat
shall always rise, and you shall feed your dwellers
60 from the hands of strangers, since your soil is barren.”
So she spoke. Then Delos rejoiced and gave this answer:
“Leto, most glorious daughter of great Koios,
I would gladly receive your offspring, the lord
who shoots from afar; since truly the sound of my name
is no pleasure to men, thereby I would be greatly honored.
But, Leto, I shall not hide the fear this word brings me.
They say that Apollon will be haughty
and greatly lord it over the immortal gods
and the mortal men of the barley-bearing earth.
70 Thus I dreadfully fear in my heart and soul
lest, when he first sees the light of the sun,
scorning an island whose ground is rocky,
he overturn me with his feet and push me into the deep sea.
And there a great billow will incessantly flood me
up to my highest peak, while he arrives at another land,
where it may please him to establish a temple and wooded groves.
Then polyps will settle on me and black seals on me
will make their carefree abodes where there are no people.
But, goddess, if only you would deign to swear a great oath,
80 that here first he would build a beautiful temple
to be an oracle for men and afterwards
among all men, since today many are his names.”
So she spoke, and Leto swore the god’s great oath:
“Earth be my witness and the wide heaven above
and the cascading water of the Styx, which is the greatest
and most awful oath among the blessed gods,
that here there shall always be a fragrant altar and temple
for Phoibos and that he shall honor you above all others.”
And when she swore and completed her oath
90 the far-shooting lord’s expected birth brought great joy to Delos;
and for nine days and nine nights Leto was racked
by travail unexpected. The goddesses were all with herthe
best ones, that is-such as Dione, Rhea,
Ichnaian Themis, loud-groaning Amphitrite
and other immortal goddesses save white-armed Hera,
who sat in the palace of cloud-gathering Zeus.
Only Eileithyia, goddess of labor pains, did not find out,
for she sat on top of Olympos under golden clouds,
through the counsels of white-armed Hera, who restrained her
100 out of jealousy, because fair-tressed Leto
was about to give birth to a mighty and blameless son.
They sent Iris forth from the well-built island
to bring Eileithyia, promising a great necklace
nine cubits long and held together by golden threads.
And they bid Iris call her apart from white-armed Hera
lest, with her words, she turn Eileithyia back from going.
When swift Iris, fleet of foot as the wind, heard this,
she set out to run and quickly traversed all the midspace,
and when she reached lofty Olympos, the seat of the gods,
110 forthwith she called Eileithyia out of the palace
to the doors and, addressing her with winged words,
told her all, as she had been commanded by the Olympian goddesses.
She did persuade her heart in her dear breast
and as they went their gait was like that of timid doves.
And when Eileithyia, goddess of travail, set foot on Delos,
the pains of labor seized Leto, and she yearned to give birth.
She threw her two arms round the palm tree, and propped her knees
on the soft meadow while the earth beneath her was all smiles.
Apollon sprang forth to the light, and all the goddesses screamed.
120 Then, noble Phoibos, the goddesses bathed you pure and clean
with fresh water and swaddled you in a white sheet,
fine and new-woven, and around you they wrapped a golden band.
Nor indeed did his mother nurse Apollon of the golden sword
but Themis poured for him nectar and lovely ambrosia
with her immortal hands, and Leto rejoiced
for giving birth to a mighty son who carries the bow.
But when, 0 Phoibos, you devoured this food for immortals,
neither golden bands could hold you as you struggled
nor bonds restrain you, for their ends came loose.
130 Forthwith among the goddesses spoke Phoibos Apollon:
“My wish is to hold dear the lyre and the curved bow
and to prophesy for men the unerring will of Zeus.”
With these words the long-haired, far-shooting god
walked away over the earth and its wide roads, and all
the goddesses were dazzled while all Delos with gold
[was laden, looking upon the offspring of Zeus and Leto,
for joy, because from among the islands and the mainland
a god chose her for his dwelling and loved her dearly in his heart]
bloomed as does a mountain peak with the flowers of the forest.
140 You yourself, far-shooting lord of the silver bow,
sometimes set foot on rocky K ynthos
while at other times you roam among islands and men.
Many temples and wooded groves are yours,
and all the peaks and towering crags of lofty mountains
and rivers flowing forth to the sea are dear to you.
But it is in Delos, O Phoibos, that your heart delights the most,
for lonians with trailing garments gather there
in your honor together with their children and modest wives.
And with boxing matches, dancing and song,
150 they delight you and remember you whenever they hold the contests.
Whoever comes upon the Ionians, when they are gathered,
might think they were forever immortal and ageless.
For he would see their grace and delight his soul,
looking upon the fair-girded women and the men
with their swift ships and their many possessions.
There is also a great wonder of everlasting renown,
the Delian maidens, followers of the lord who shoots from afar.
After they first praise Apollon with a hymn
and now again Leto and arrow-pouring Artemis,
160 they tell of men and women who lived long ago
and sing a hymn, charming the races of men.
The tongues of all men and their noisy chatter
they know how to mimic; such is their skill in composing the song
that each man might think he himself were speaking.
But now may Apollon and Artemis be propitious;
and all you maidens farewell. I ask you to call me to mind
in time to come whenever some man on this earth,
a stranger whose suffering never ends, comes here and asks:
“Maidens, which of the singers, a man wont to come here,
170 is to you the sweetest, and in whom do you most delight?”
Do tell him in unison that I am he,
a blind man, dwelling on the rocky island of Chios,
whose songs shall all be the best in time to come.
And I will carry your renown as far as I roam
over the lands of men and their cities of fair locations.
Indeed they will not doubt this because it is true.
And I shall not cease to hymn far-shooting Apollon,
lord of the silver bow and child of lovely-haired Leto.
O Lord, yours is Lykia and Meonia the lovely
180 and Miletos, too, the enchanting city by the sea,
and you again greatly rule over wave-washed Delos.
The son of glorious Leto goes to rocky Pytho,
playing his hollow lyre,
and wearing garments divine and fragrant; his lyre
struck by the golden plectrum gives an enchanting sound.
Thence, fleet as thought, he leaves the earth for Olympos
and goes to the palace of Zeus and the company of the other gods.
Forthwith the immortals take interest in his song and lyre,
and all the Muses, answering with beautiful voices,
190 hymn the divine gifts of the gods and the hardships
brought upon men by the immortal gods.
Men live an unresourceful and thoughtless life, unable
to find a cure for death and a charm to repel old age.
And the fair-tressed Graces and the kindly Seasons
and Harmonia and Hebe and Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus,
dance, each holding the other’s wrist.
Among them sings one, neither ugly nor slight of stature
but truly of great size and marvelous aspect,
arrow-pouring Artemis, Apollon’s twin sister.
200 And with them play Ares and keen-eyed Argeiphontes;
Phoibos Apollon, his step high and stately,
plays the lyre, enveloped in the brilliance
from his glittering feet and well-woven garment.
And Leto of the golden tresses and Zeus the counselor
rejoice in their great souls as they look upon
their dear son playing among the immortals.
How shall I match the hymns already sung in your honor?
Or am I to sing of you as wooer and lover of maidens,
sing how, wooing the daughter of Azas, you raced
210 against godlike Ischys Elationides, possessed of good horses,
or against Phorbas sprung from Triops or against Ereutheus?
Or in the company of Leukippos’ wife,
you on foot and he with his horses? He surely was as good as Triops!
Or am I to sing how at first you went all over the earth,
seeking the seat of an oracle, 0 far-shooting Apollon?
To Pieria you first descended from Olympos
and made your way past sandy Lektos and the Ainianes
and Perrhaiboi; and soon you reached Iolkos
and set foot on Kenaion in Euboea, renowned for ships;
220 you stood on the Lelantine plain, but it did not please
your heart to build a temple with wooded groves.
From there, O far-shooting Apollon, you crossed Euripos
and went along a sacred green mountain, and leaving
you came to Mykalessos and grassy-bedded Teumessos.
Then you arrived at the forest-covered abode of Thebe;
no mortal as yet lived in sacred The be,
and at that time there were no paths or roads yet
throughout the wheat-bearing plain of Thebe, but forests covered it.
Thence, 0 splendid Apollon, you went onward
230 to reach Onchestos, the fair grove of Poseidon,
where a new-broken colt, vexed as he is at drawing
the beautiful chariot, slows down to breathe, as its noble driver
leaps down from the chariot and goes his way; and the horses
for some time rattle the empty chariot, free from their master’s control.
And if they should break the chariot in the wooded grove,
the horses are taken away but the tilted chariot is left behind.
For such is the ancient custom: they pray to the lord
while to the god’s lot falls the custody of the chariot.
You soon left that place, O far-shooting Apollon,
240 and then reached the beautiful streams of Kephissos
which pours forth its fair-flowing water from Lilaia.
And, 0 worker from afar, you crossed it and many-towered Okalea,
and thence you arrived at grassy Haliartos.
You set foot on Telphousa, where the peaceful place
pleased you, and so you built a temple with wooded groves.
Standing very close to her you spoke these words:
“Telphousa, here I intend to build a beautiful temple
to be an oracle for men who will always
bring to me here unblemished hecatombs;
250 and as many as dwell on fertile Peloponnesos
and on Europe and throughout the sea-girt islands
will consult it. It is my wish to give them unerring
advice, making prophecies inside the opulent temple.”
With these words Phoibos Apollon laid out the foundations,
broad and very long from beginning to end; Telphousa saw this
and with anger in her heart she spoke these words:
“Lord Phoibos, worker from afar, I shall put a word in your heart,
since you intend to build a beautiful temple in this place,
to be an oracle for men who will always
260 bring there unblemished hecatombs.
Yet I will speak out, and you mark my word in your heart.
The pounding of swift horses and mules
watering at my sacred springs will always annoy you,
and men will prefer to gaze upon
the well-made chariots and the pounding, swift-footed horses
than upon the great temple and the many possessions therein.
But please listen to me-you are a lord better and mightier
than I, and your power is very greatbuild
at Krisa beneath the fold of Parnassos.
270 There neither beautiful chariots will rattle nor swift-footed
horses will pound about the well-built altar.
But to you as lepaieon the glorious races of men
will bring gifts, and with delighted heart you will receive
beautiful sacrificial offerings from those dwelling about.”
With these words Telphousa swayed his mind, so that hers alone,
and not the Far-shooter’s should be the glory of the land.
You soon left that place, O far-shooting Apollon,
and reached the city of the Phlegyes, those insolent men,
who dwelt on this earth, with no regard for Zeus,
280 in a beautiful glen near the lake Kephisis.
From there you went rushing to a mountain ridge,
and you reached Krisa beneath snowy Parnassos,
a foothill looking westwards, with a rock
hanging above it and a hollow and rough glen
running below it. There the lord Phoibos Apollon
resolved to make a lovely temple and spoke these words:
“Here I intend to build a beautiful temple
to be an oracle for men who shall always
bring to this place unblemished hecatombs;
290 and as many as dwell on fertile Peloponnesos
and on Europe and throughout the sea-girt islands
will consult it. It is my wish to give them unerring
advice, making prophecies inside the opulent temple.”
With these words Phoibos Apollon laid out the foundations,
broad and very long from beginning to end; and on them
the sons of Erginos, Trophonios and Agamedes,
dear to the immortal gods, placed a threshold of stone.
And the numberless races of men built the temple all around
with hewn stones, to be a theme of song forever.
300 Near it there was a fair-flowing spring, where the lord,
son of Zeus, with his mighty bow, killed a she-dragon,
a great, glutted and fierce monster, which inflicted
many evils on the men of the land-many on them
and many on their slender-shanked sheep; for she was bloodthirsty.
And once from golden-throned Hera she received and reared
dreadful and baneful Typhaon, a scourge to mortals.
Hera once bore him in anger at father Zeus,
when indeed Kronides gave birth to glorious Athena
from his head; and mighty Hera was quickly angered
310 and spoke to the gathering of the immortal gods:
“All gods and all goddesses, hear from me
how cloud-gathering Zeus begins to dishonor me
first, since he made me his mindfully devoted wife,
and now apart from me gave birth to gray-eyed Athena,
who excels among all the blessed immortals.
But my son, Hephaistos, whom I myself bore
has grown to be weak-legged and lame among the blessed gods.
I took him with my own hands and cast him into the broad sea.
But Thetis, the silver-footed daughter of Nereus,
320 received him and with her sisters took him in her care.
I wish she had done the blessed gods some other favor!
O stubborn and wily one! What else will you now devise?
How dared you alone give birth to gray-eyed Athena?
Would not I have borne her, who was called your very own
among the immortals who dwell in the broad sky?
[325a Take thought now, lest I devise some evil for you in return!]
And now, I shall contrive to have born to me
a child who will excel among the immortals.
And to our sacred wedlock I shall bring no shame,
nor visit your bed, but I shall pass my time
330 far from you, among the immortal gods.”
With these words she went apart from the gods very angry.
Then forthwith mighty, cow-eyed Hera prayed
and with the flat of her hand struck the ground and spoke:
“Hear me now, Earth and broad Sky above,
and you Titans from whom gods and men are descended
and who dwell beneath the earth round great Tartaros.
Harken to me, all of you, and apart from Zeus grant me a child,
in no wise of inferior strength; nay, let him be stronger
than Zeus by as much as far-seeing Zeus is stronger than Kronos.”
340 Thus she cried out and lashed the earth with her stout hand.
Then the life-giving earth was moved and Hera saw it,
and her heart was delighted at the thought of fulfillment.
From then on, and until a full year came to its end,
she never came to the bed of contriving Zeus,
nor pondered for him sagacious counsels,
sitting as before on her elaborate chair,
but staying in temples, where many pray,
cow-eyed, mighty Hera delighted in her offerings.
But when the months and the days reached their destined goal,
350 and the seasons arrived as the year revolved,
she bore dreadful and baneful Typhaon, a scourge to mortals,
whose aspect resembled neither god’s nor man’s.
Forthwith cow-eyed, mighty Hera took him and, piling evil
upon evil, she commended him to the care of the she-dragon.
He worked many evils on the glorious races of men,
and she brought their day of doom to those who met her,
until the lord far-shooting Apollon shot her
with a mighty arrow; rent with insufferable pains,
she lay panting fiercely and writhing on the ground.
360 The din was ineffably awesome, and throughout the forest
she was rapidly thrusting her coils hither and thither; with a gasp
she breathed out her gory soul, while Phoibos Apollon boasted:
“Rot now right here on the man-nourishing earth;
you shall not ever again be an evil bane for living men
who eat the fruit of the earth that nurtures many
and will bring to this place unblemished hecatombs,
not shall Typhoeus or ill-famed Chimaira
ward off woeful death for you, but right here
the black earth and the flaming sun will make you rot.”
370 Thus he spoke boasting, and darkness covered her eyes.
And the holy fury of Helios made ·her rot away;
hence the place is now called Pytho, and people
call the lord by the name of Pytheios, because on that spot
the fury of piercing Helios made the monster rot away.
At last Phoibos Apollon knew in his mind
why the fair-flowing spring had deceived him.
So in anger against Telphousa he set out and quickly reached her
and, standing very close to her, uttered these words:
“Telphousa, you were not destined, after all, to deceive my mind
380 by keeping this lovely place to pour forth your fair-flowing water.
The glory of this place will be mine, too, not yours alone.”
Thus spoke the lord, far-shooting Apollon, and pushed down on her a cliff,
and with a shower of rocks he covered her streams;
then he built himself an altar in the wooded grove,.
very close to the fair-flowing stream, and there all men
pray calling upon him as the Telphousian lord,
because he shamed the streams of sacred Telphousa.
And then indeed Phoibos Apollon pondered in his mind
what kind of men he should bring in to celebrate his rites
390 and be his ministers in rocky Pytho.
As he pondered these thoughts, he descried a swift ship
on the wine-dark sea; there were many noble men on it,
Cretans from Minoan Knossos, who for the lord
make sacrificial offerings and proclaim the decrees
of Phoibos Apollon of the golden sword, whatever he may say
when he prophesies from the laurel below the dells of Parnassos.
To sandy Pylos and its native dwellers
they sailed in a black ship for barter and goods,
and Phoibos Apollon went to meet them at sea
400 and, looking like a dolphin in shape, he leaped on
the swift ship and lay on it like some great and awesome monster.
And it entered no man’s mind to know who he was
as he lunged about and shook the timbers of the ship.
They sat on the ship, afraid and dumbfounded,
and neither slacked the sheets throughout the hollow black ship
nor lowered the sail of the dark-prowed keel.
But as they had fixed its direction with oxhide lines,
so they sailed on; for a rushing south wind pressed
the swift ship on from behind. First sailing past Maleia
410 and then past the land of Lakonia, they reached
a sea-crowned city, a place of Helios who gladdens mortals,
Tainaron, where always graze the long-fleeced sheep
of lord Helios and are the tenants of the delightful place.
They wanted to put the ship to shore there and land
to contemplate the great portent and see with their eyes
whether the monster would remain on the deck of the hollow ship
or leap into the briny swell which teems with fishes.
But the well-wrought ship did not obey the helm,
and off the shore of fertile Peloponnesos
420 went her way as the lord, far-shooting Apollon, easily
steered her course with a breeze. She traversed her path
and reached Arene and lovely Argyphea,
and Thryon, the ford of Alpheios, and well-built Aipy,
and sandy Pylos and its native dwellers.
She sailed past Krounoi and Chalkis and Dyme
and splendid Elis, where the Epeioi are lords.
When she was headed for Pherai, exulting in the tail wind
sent by Zeus, from under the clouds the lofty mountain of Ithake
appeared, and Doulichion and Same and wooded Zakynthos.
430 But when the shore of Peloponnesos was behind her,
and there loomed in the distance Krisa’s boundless gulf,
which cuts off from the mainland the fertile Peloponnesos,
there came, decreed by Zeus, a great and fair west wind
rushing down vehemently from the clear sky, so that the ship
might soon traverse in speed the briny water of the sea.
Then they sailed back toward the dawn and the sun,
and the lord Apollon, son of Zeus, was their leader
until they reached the harbor of conspicuous Krisa,
rich in vineyards, where the seafaring ship grounded on the sands.
440 And there the lord, far-shooting Apollon, leaped from the ship,
like a star at midday, as flashes of light
flew about and their brilliance touched the sky.
Through the precious tripods his sanctuary he entered,
to light a flame with his gl~aming shafts,
enveloping !all of Krisa in light; and the wives
and fair-girded daughters of the Krisians raised a cry
at the radiance of Phoibos, for he instilled in them great fear.
From there, swift as thought, he took a flying leap
back into the ship, in the form of a strong and vigorous
450 man in his prime, his mane covering his broad shoulders.
And with loud voice he uttered winged words:
“Who are you strangers and whence do you sail the watery paths?
Is it perchance for barter, or do you wander idly
over the sea like roaming pirates
who risk their lives to bring evil upon men of other lands?
Why do you sit thus in fear, neither going out
to shore nor stowing the tackle of your black ship?
Such indeed is the custom of men who work for their bread,
whenever on their black ship they come to land
460 from the sea, worn-out with toil, and straightway
a longing for sweet food grips their hearts.”
Thus he spoke and put courage in their breasts,
and the leader of the Cretans spoke to him in answer:
“Stranger, since in no wise do you resemble a mortal
in build or stature, but rather look like the deathless gods,
a hearty hail to you, and may the gods grant you good fortune.
Now speak the truth to me that I may know well.
What folk is this, what land, what mortals live here?
With other designs in mind we sailed over the vast sea
470 to Pylos from Crete, whence we boast our race to hail.
Now against our will we have sailed here in our ship,
on another course and another path, and long to go home;
but some immortal has brought us here against our will.”
And far-shooting Apollon addressed them and answered:
“Strangers, up to now you dwelt about Knossos
with its many trees; now you shall no longer be
on the homeward journey, bound for your lovely city,
your beautiful homes and dear wives, but you shall keep
my opulent temple which is honored by many men.
480 I am the son of Zeus and proudly declare I am Apollon.
I brought you here over the vast and deep sea,
entertaining no evil thoughts, but here you shall have
my opulent temple, which is greatly honored by all men,
and you shall know the will of the immortals, by whose wish
you shall be honored forever to the end of your days.
But come and obey at once whatever I say:
First slack the oxhide lines and lower the sails,
and then draw the swift ship onto the land,
and out of the well-trimmed keel take tackle and possessions,
490 and make an altar upon the beach of the sea;
then light a fire on it and offer white barley,
and, standing round the altar, say your prayers.
Since I, at first on the misty sea
in the form of a dolphin, leaped onto the swift ship,
so pray to me as Delphinios; the altar too,
shall be called Delphinian and be forever conspicuous.
After that have your meal by the swift black ship,
and pour libations to the blessed gods who dwell on Olympos.
But when you have rid yourselves of desire for sweet food,
500 come with me, singing the hymn lepaieon,
until you reach the place where you shall keep my opulent temple.”
So he spoke, and they readily heard him and obeyed.
First they lowered the sails and slacked the oxhide lines, .
and by the forestays brought the mast down to the mast-holder.
Then they themselves landed on the beach
and drew the swift ship from the sea onto the land,
and high onto the sand, and spread long props underneath.
There, on the beach of the sea they made an altar,
then lighted a fire on it, and with offerings of white barley
510 they prayed, as he ordered, standing round the altar.
They then had their meal by the swift black ship
and poured libations to the blessed gods who dwell on Olympos.
And when they rid themselves of desire for food and drink,
they set out to go, and the lord Apollon, son of Zeus, led the way,
his step high and stately, and with the lyre in his hands
played a lovely tune. The Cretans followed him
to Pytho, l,eating time and singing the Iepaieon
in the fashion of Cretans singing a paean when the divine
Muse has put mellifluous song in their hearts.
520 They walked up the hill unwearied and soon reached
Parnassos and the lovely place where he was destined
to dwell honored by many men; he led them there
and showed them the sacred sanctuary and opulent temple.
But their spirit was roused in their dear hearts,
and the leader of the Cretans addressed him and asked:
“Lord, since far from our dear ones and our fatherland
you have brought us-for thus it pleased your hearthow
are we now to live? This we bid you tell us.
This charming place does not abound in vineyards or meadows
530 from which we may live well and be in the service of men.”
And Apollon, the son of Zeus, smiled on them and answered:
“Foolish men and poor wretches you are for preferring
cares and toilsome hardships and straits for your hearts.
Put in your minds the word I will speak to set you at ease:
With a knife in his right hand let each one of you
slaughter sheep forever, and there will be an abundance
of them brought to me by the glorious races of men.
But guard my temple and receive the races of men
gathered here, and especially my direction
540 Your word or deed shall be vain
and wantonly insolent, as is the custom of mortal men;
then you shall have other men to command you,
and by force be your masters forever.
I have told you everything; do keep it in your mind.”
And so, son of Zeus and Leto, farewell,
and I shall remember you and another song, too.