Posts Tagged ‘Eos’

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Homeric Hymn 5 to Aphrodite

December 12, 2009

Trans: Athanassakis.

Homeric Hymn 5 to Aphrodite
Sing to me, O Muse, of the works of golden Aphrodite,
the Cyprian, who stirs sweet longing in gods
and subdues the races of mortal men as well as
the birds that swoop from the sky and all the beasts
that are nurtured in their multitudes on both land and sea.
Indeed all have concern for the works of fair-wreathed Kythereia.
Three are the minds which she can neither sway nor deceive:
first is the daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, gray-eyed Athene.
The works of Aphrodite the golden bring no pleasure to her,
but she finds joy in wars and in the work of Ares
and in the strife of battle and in tending to deeds of splendor.
She was first to teach the craftsmen of this earth
how to make carriages and chariots with intricate patterns of bronze.
And she taught lustrous works to soft-skinned maidens
in their houses, placing skill in each one’s mind.
Second is hallooing Artemis of the golden shafts,
whom smile-loving Aphrodite can never tame in love.
For she delights in the bow and in slaying mountain beasts,
in the lyre and the dance and in shrill cries
and in shaded groves and in the city of just men.
Third is a revered maiden not charmed by the deeds of Aphrodite,
Hestia, whom Kronos of crooked counsels begat first
and youngest too, by the will of aegis-bearing Zeus.
Poseidon and Apollon courted this mighty goddess
but she was unwilling and constantly refused.
She touched the head of aegis-bearing Zeus
and swore a great oath, which has been brought to pass,
that she, the illustrious goddess, would remain a virgin forever.
Instead of marriage Zeus the Father gave her a fair prize,
and she took the choicest boon and sat in the middle of the house.
In all the temples of the gods she has her share of honour
anbd for all mortals she is of all the gods the most venerated.
Of these three she can neither sway the mind, nor deceive them.
But none of the others, neither blessed god
nor mortal man, has escaped Aphrodite.
She even led astray the mind of Zeus who delights in thunder
and who is the greatest and has the highest honour.
Even his wise mind she tricks when she wills it
and easily mates him with mortal women,
making him forget Hera, his wife and sister,
by far the most beautiful among the deathless goddesses
and the most illustrious child to issue from crafty Kronos
and mother Rhea. And Zeus, knower of indestructible plans,
made her his modest and prudent wife.
But even in Aphrodite’s soul Zeus placed sweet longing
to mate with a mortal man: his purpose was that even she
might not be kept away from a mortal’s bed for long,
and that some day the smile-loving goddess might not
laugh sweetly and bosat among all the gods
of how she had joined in love gods to mortal women,
who bore mortal sons to the deathless gods,
and of how she had paired goddesses with mortal men.
And so he pleased in her heart sweet longing for Anchises,
who then, looking like an immortal in body,
tended cattle on the towering mountains of Ida, rich in spring.
When indeed smile-loving Aphrodite saw him,
she fell in love with him, and awesome longing seized her heart.
She went to Cyprus and entered her redolent temple
at Paphos, where her precinct and balmy temple are.
There she entered and behind her closed the shining doors;
and there the Graces bathed her and annointed her
with ambrosia oil such as is rubbed on deathless gods,
divinely sweet, and made fragrant for her sake.
After she clothed her body with beautiful garments
and decked herself with gold, smile-loving Aphrodite
left sweet-smelling Cyprus behind and rushed toward Troy,
moving swiftly on a path high up in the clouds.
And she reached Ida, rich in sprigs, mother of beasts,
and over the mountains she made straight for the stalls.
And along with her, fawning, dashed gray wolves
and lions with gleaming eyes and bears and swift leopards,
ever hungry for deer. And when she saw them, she was delighted
in her heart and placed longing in their breasts,
so that they lay together in pairs along the shady glens.
But she herself reached the well-built shelters
and found the hero Anchises, whose beauty was divine,
left alone and away from the others, by the stalls.
All the others followed the cattle on the grassy pastures,
but he was left alone by the stalls, and away from the others
he moved about and played a loud and clear lyre.
And Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus, stood before him,
in size and form like an unwed maiden,
so that he might not see who she was and be afraid.
When Anchises saw her, he pondered and marveled
at her size and form, and at her glistening garments.
She was clothed in a robe more brilliant than gleaming fire
and wore spiral bracelets and shining earrings,
while round her tender neck there were beautiful necklaces,
lovely, golden and of intricate design. Like the moon’s
was the radiance round her soft breasts, a wonder to the eye.
Desire seized Anchises, and to her he uttered these words:
“Lady, welcome to this house, whoever of the blessed ones you are:
whether you are Artemis, or Leto, or golden Aphrodite,
or well-born Themis, or gray-eyed Athena,
or yet perchance one of the Graces, who with all
the gods keep company and are called immortal,
or one of the nymphs who haunt these beautiful woods,
or one of the nymphs who dwell on this beautiful mountain
and in the springs of rivers and grassy dells.
Upon a lofty peak, which can be seen from all around,
I shall make you an altar and offer you fair sacrifices
in all seasons. And with kindly heart grant me
to be an eminent man among the Trojans,
to leave flourishing offspring behind me,
and to live long and behold the light of the sun,
prospering among the people, and so reach the threshold of old age.”
And then Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus, answered him:
“Anchises, most glorious of all men born on earth,
I surely am no goddess: why do you liken me to the immortals?
A mortal am I, and born of a mortal woman.
Renowned Otreus is my father–have you perchance heard his name?–
who is lord over all of well-fortified Phrygia.
And I know well both my language and yours,
for a Trojan nurse reared me in my house; and she took me
from my dear mother and devotedly cherished me when I was little.
For this reason indeed I know your language too.
But now Argeiphontes of the golden wand carried me off
from the dance of hallooing Artemis of the golden shafts.
Many of us nymphs and maidens, worth many cows to their parents,
were playing, and endless was the crowd encircling us.
From there Argeiphontes of the golden wand abducted me
and carried me over many works of mortal men,
over much undivided and uninhabited land, where beasts
which each raw flesh roam through the shady glens,
and I thought that my feet would never again touch the life-giving earth.
He said I should be called your wedded wife, Anchises,
and sharing your bed would bear you fine children.
But when Argeiphontes had shown and explained this to me,
again he went away among the tribes of the immortals;
and so I am before you because my need is compelling.
By Zeus I beseech you and by your noble parents,
for base ones could not bear offspring like you.
Take me untouched and innocent of love
and show me to your father and wise mother
and to your brothers born of the same womb;
I shall be no unseemly daughter and sister.
Quickly send a messenger to the Phrygians, who have swift horses,
to bring word to my father and to my mother in her grief;
they will send you much gold and many woven garments,
and do you accept all these splendid rewards.
Once these things are done, prepare the lovely marriage feast,
which is honoured by both men and immortal gods.”
With these words the goddess placed sweet desire in his heart,
so that love seized Anchises and he addressed her:
“If you are mortal and born of a mortal woman
and Otreus is your father, famous by name, as you say,
and if you are come here by the will of Hermes,
the immortal guide, you shall be called my wife forever.
And so neither god nor mortal men will restrain me
till I have mingled with you in love
right now; not even if far-shooting Apollon himself
should shoot grievous arrows from his silver bow.
O godlike woman, willingly would I go to the house of Hades
once I have climbed into your bed.”
With these words he took her by the hand; and smile-loving Aphrodite,
turning her face away, with beautiful eyes downcast, went coyly
to the well-made bed, which was already laid
with soft coverings for its lord.
On it were skins of bears and deep-roaring lions,
which he himself had killed on the high mountains.
And when they climbed onto the well-wrought bed,
first Anchises took off the bright jewels from her body,
brooches, spiral bracelets, earrings and necklaces,
and loosed her girdle, and her brilliant garments
he stripped off and laid upon a silver-studded seat.
Then by the will of the gods and destiny he, a mortal,
lay beside an immortal, not knowing what he did.
And at the hour shepherds turn their oxen and goodly sheep
back to the stalls from the flowering pastures,
she poured sweet sleep over Anchises
and clothed her body in her beautiful clothes.
When the noble goddess had clothed her body in beautiful clothes,
she stood by the couch; her head touched the well-made roof-beam
and her cheeks were radiant with divine beauty,
such as belongs to fair-wreathed Kythereia.
Then she roused him from sleep and addressed him thus:
“Arise, Dardanides! Why do you sleep so deeply?
And consider whether I look the same
as when you first saw me with your eyes.”
So she spoke. And he, arising from sleep, obeyed her forthwith.
And when he saw Aphrodite’s neck and lovely eyes,
he was seized with fear and turned his eyes aside.
Then with his cloak his handsome face he covered
and spoke to her winged words in prayer:
“Goddess, as soon as I saw you with my eyes
I knew that you were divine; but you did not tell me the truth.
Yet by aegis-bearing Zeus I beseech you
not to let me live impotent among men,
but have mercy on me; for the man who lies
with immortal goddesses is not left unharmed.”
And Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus answered him:
“Anchises, most glorious of mortal men,
courage! Have little fear in your heart.
No need to be afraid that you may suffer harm from me
or from the other blessed ones, for by the gods you are loved.
And you shall have a dear son who will rule among the Trojans,
and to his offspring children shall always be born.
Aineias his name shall be, because I was seized
by awful grief for sharing a mortal man’s bed.
But of all mortal men your race is always
closest to the gods in looks and stature.
Wise Zeus abducted fair-haired Ganymedes
for his beauty, to be among the immortals
and pour wine for the gods in the house of Zeus,
a marvel to look upon, honoured by all the gods,
as from the golden bowl he draws red nectar.
Relentless grief seized the heart of Tros, nor did he know
whither the divine whirlwind had carried off his dear son.
So thereafter he wept for him unceasingly;
and Zeus pitied him and gave him high-stepping horses,
such as carry the immortals, as reward for his son.
He gave them as a gift to have, and guiding
Argeiphontes at the behest of Zeus told him in detail
how his son would be immortal and ageless like the gods.
And when he heard Zeus’ message,
he no longer wept but rejoiced in his heart
and was gladly carried by the careering horses.
So, too, golden-throned Eos abducted Tithonos,
one of your own race, who resembled the immortals.
She went to ask Kronion, lord of dark clouds,
that he should be immortal and live forever.
And Zeus nodded assent to her and fulfilled her wish.
Mighty Eos was too foolish to think of asking
youth for him and to strip him of baneful old age.
Indeed, so long as much-coveted youth was his,
he took his delight in early-born, golden-throned Eos,
and dwelt by the stream of Okeanos at the ends of the earth.
But when the first gray hairs began to flow down
from his comely head and noble chin,
mighty Eos did refrain from his bed,
though she kept him in her house and pampered him
with food and ambrosia and gifts of fine clothing.
But when detested old age weighed heavily on him
and he could move or lift none of his limbs,
this is the counsel that to her seemed best in her heart:
she placed him in a chamber and shut its shining doors.
His voice flows endlessly, and there is no strength,
such as there was before, in his crooked limbs.
If this were to be your lot among immortals, I should not chose
for you immortality and eternal life.
But should you live on such as you now are
in looks and build, and be called my husband,
then no grief would enfold my prudent heart.
But now you will soon be enveloped by leveling old age,
that pitiless companion of every man,
baneful, wearisome and hated even by the gods.
But great shame shall be mine among the immortal gods
to the end of all time because of you.
Till now they feared my scheming tattle,
by which, soon or late, I mated all immortal gods
to mortal women, for my will tamed them all.
But now my mouth will not bear to mention this
among the immortals because, struck by great madness
in a wretched and grave way, and driven out of my mind,
I mated with a mortal, and put a child beneath my girdle.
As soon as this child sees the light of the sun,
the full-bosomed mountain nymphs will nurture him.
They do not take after either mortals or immortals;
they live long and eat immortal food,
and among the immortals they move nimbly in the beautiful dance.
The Seilenoi and sharp-eyed Argeiphontes
mingle with them in love in caves where desire lurks.
When they are born, firs and towering oaks
spring up on the man-nourishing earth
and grow into lush beauty on the high mountains.
They stand lofty, and are called sanctuaries
of the gods; and mortals do not fell them with the ax.
But whenever fated death is near at hand,
first these beautiful trees wither on their ground,
the bark all around them shrivels up, the branches fall away,
and their souls and those of the nymphs leave the light of the sun together.
They will keep my son and nurture him.
As soon as he reaches much-coveted adolescence,
the goddesses will bring the child here to show him to you.
And, to tell you all I have in mind,
toward the fifth year I will come and bring my son.
And when you first lay your eyes upon this blossom,
you will delight in the sight, for so much like a god he will be;
and you shall take him forthwith to windy Ilion.
But if any mortal man should ask you
what sort of mother carried your dear son under her girdle,
do remember to speak to him as I bid you:
‘He is the son, they say, of a nymph with a petal-soft face,
one of those who dwell on this forest-covered mountain.’
But if you reveal this and boast with foolish heart
to have mingled in love with fair-wreathed Kythereia,
an angry Zeus will smite you with a smoking thunderbolt.
I have told you everything; with this clear in your mind,
refrain from naming me, and heed divine anger.”
With these words she darted up to the windy sky.
Hail, O goddess and queen of cultivated Cyprus!
I begin with you but now shall go to another hymn.

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Short – The Hyperionides

November 13, 2009

The guardians of sky-time; they linger
In shadows and sunlight, in the dappled
Cover cast by low-hanging trees, swirling
In the soft breeze – the Hyperionides.

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Short – Eos

November 12, 2009

Eos flows over the earth with golden wings,
Weaving flowers in her hair and kissing
Humanity’s closed eyes with shining lips:
Soft laughter warms the air around her skin.

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Golden Veins

November 12, 2009

The brightness of eternity
Sings in your golden veins.
Love, promises and birth –
All belong to you, Dawn Queen.

The people chant for you,
Smiling with shining lips and eyes.
Gleaming goddess,
Queen of all that is and ever was.

You bring subtle ideas of glorious dawn
With your beating, golden heart:
Sensations drift over your skin
As you share kisses with white Selene.

All that begins is yours;
New love flourishes beneath your touch
As you spread shimmering light to
The dusky human world. Eos, Eos!

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Read Write Prompt #9

October 9, 2009

Read Write Prompt #9: Travelling Companions.

Selene & her team of bulls.

Ivory lips peel back: smiling, snarling,
Living, breathing. Do you want a kiss, boy?
Stone grinds away beneath her feet; winter
Yields to her, the cold mistress of the night.

The boy trembles. Ice wraps around his body,
Staving away the cold – and yet freezing
Him more thoroughly than if he’d ever
Found his lips and fingers numbed by the winds.

Her bone-skin crackles; fireworks slither
Into her veins. She bruises his dark skin,
Makes him pale, makes him hers. Kiss me quickly.
Wind pounds at his eyes; crying, he obeys.

She draws the heat from his warm, beating heart.
She licks her lips, then follows her tongue with
One long, spidery finger. Her eyes laugh.
My boy, she whispers. He does not answer..

The night continues; rigid, unyielding.
Nyx does not care for the young boy, broken-
Hearted, frozen-lipped, passing from this world
Into the gloom of the next. He is dead.

Selene calls her bulls to her side, slides
Her fingers through their fur. Icicles form,
Spreading between them; glittering webs made
By a hundred thousand snowy spiders.

The boy’s shell falls to the ground: a halo
Of used condoms frame his head; broken glass
Circles his pale throat. Her lips are red, though.
They gleam: cold hunger simmers in her veins.

Eos’ golden rays warm the night-cold earth
As Selene retires to her world
In the north, where snow never melts. They kiss
As they pass; influence slips between them.

The world awakens as Selene sleeps.

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Read Write Prompt #1

October 7, 2009

Read Write Prompt #1: In A Sentence.
American Sentences – one sentence, 17 syllables, direct observation.

Anubis
Wolf-boy, coyote smile – are you here to take me away from this hell?

Aphrodite
Love: glorious in the summer sun, framed by white and caramel-smiles.

Ares
Blood runs through shallow graves; water doesn’t stop, tears always fall; he smiles.

Bast
Picture perfect, perfumed air; red and gold; sex, energy, desire.

Eos
Flip a page, start again; fresh day, fresh smile, fresh love; there’s nothing better.

Eris
Spinning, laughing, mad girl, wild child; stop pointing that bloody gun at me.

Eros
Silver threads, connect the dots; fire your arrow, watch the cities burn.

Hedone
Skins itch, veins burn; croon to the air as the black doves take flight everywhere.

Helios
Flash-fire, wild boy; did you know that your soft lips are as gold as your skin?

Hera
Spread your feathers, beautiful birds; dance for your queen – she watches you now.

Hermes
Skimming over clouds, planning mischief; is there anything more perfect?

Lyssa
Spit flies, dribbles down; chain-check, too-tight; muscles burn, fire starts – she screams.

Peitho
Her lips are painted with need; the flush of longing streams over her skin.

Psykhe
Love: catch it in your hands, dandelion clock, before it blows away.

Rhea-Kybele
The earth is yours: she rumbles, pulses and thrums beneath you, smiling queen.

Selene
The moon does not care for you; she laughs at your ideas of romance.

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Golden Dawn

October 2, 2009

Rosy-fingered girl,
Bringing change in her
Easy smiles and the
Pulse of golden light
That clings to her skin.

She changes even
As she pulls herself
From her tangled dreams;
Humanity drifts,
Hazy, barely there.

In the twilight hours,
When she is not yet
Awake, but not still
Lost in her dreamworld,
She glows with promise.

From her bed she comes,
Lifting up her hands
So that her skin gleams
Ruby-red in the
Dim morning sunlight.

Selene meets her;
Her eyes droop from the
Tiredness that comes
From her eternal
Desire to sleep.

“Morning, sweet sister,”
Eos murmurs; her
Eyes shine with rosy
Laughter, daring her
Sister to argue.

She does not retort.
Instead, she presses
A shy kiss to her
Sister’s radiant
Brow, and walks onwards.

Eos carries on–
Alone, so alone–
Towards her shining
Brother’s ever-warm,
Candle-lit chambers.

The Horai meet her,
And make her pause so
That they can string beads
And pretty flowers
Into her gold hair.

“Stay with us awhile,”
One whispers, bending
To reverently
Kiss the sunshine-sweet
Lips of the Dawn Queen.

“Yes, stay,” another
Sighs, pressing her warm
Cheek to the Queen’s, and
Smiling as Titane
Light slips between them.

“I must not linger,”
Eos objects, but
She desires no
More than to dance with
Them, and they know it.

Eventually
The Horai part, but
It is not Eos
Who makes them move; it
Is the hum of fate.

She continues forth,
Ignorant to the
Gazes of her bright
Brother’s guards – they would
Not dare to harm her.

Her radiant hands
Push open the doors
To his lovely rooms;
His gleaming birds take
To the air, singing.

He, lying in his
Bed of white petals,
Lifts his head and glows
So brightly that it
Hurts even her eyes.

“Is it my time now?”
Helios asks, his
Golden eyes meeting
Her own. She nods, smiles,
And says one word: “Yes.”

She helps him rise from
His soft bed and to
Clothe himself in the
Delicate, purple
Robes he wears each day.

They exchange idle
Kisses to pass the
Time as he dresses;
The room grows heavy
With perfumed hunger.

Their kisses become
Sharper; lined with teeth
That yearn to nip and
Scrape over bare flesh
In the morning hours.

Dawn rises and the
Sun shines on, on, on;
They lie together,
He in his robes, she
In nothing at all.

Helios kisses
Her brow, smiling as
Brightly as the sun
That draws its daily
Heat from their embrace.

The day passes in
A blur of red heat,
Of beating hearts – though
No blood ever sweeps
Through their golden veins.

The day ends
And they seperate;
Each returns to their
Own bed, exhausted
By eternal love.

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Fiction: Ekho and Pan: Twilight

September 28, 2009

She exists best in the twilight hours, like the fey that women speak of as they draw close together in the heaving markets and shout to be heard. Nobody leaves saucers of milk out for Ekho, though, and she is not repulsed by iron. She knows only that, in the between hours—when the earth is cool but the air warm—she can think, even if she has neither voice nor body to make her thoughts known.

Pan, though, doesn’t accept that she thrives only in twilight. He needs her most when Selene’s delicate madness thrums through the air: he pulses with hunger, desire, need, and yet she can do nothing for him. She watches him undress and touch himself, and she can’t even feel passion for that, no, not even that.

She has no true body; she has no real desire. Aphrodite’s influence does not stretch to the bodiless, even if it was love that made her waste away. She scorned love for centuries after that; she used to spit at Selene and scream at the lovers who walked, hand in hand, through her domain. They know better now, but it matters not: she would not shout at them anymore.

Pan, Pan, she whispers with her eyes. He’s asleep, as he so often is, during her strongest hours – when the shimmer of her body is there, just barely there, amid the wind and tinkling rain. It is only in twilight, then, that Aphrodite affects her: it is only in twilight that she so hungers for Pan.

He, though, doesn’t stir. She doesn’t know how to wake him: her lips are sewn shut, and the thread only loosens when another speaks first. She remembers Hera and still thinks resentfully of her: after all, she did not fuck Zeus; she merely made it possible for others to. Hera’s wrath is not bound by direct responsibility, though, and Ekho has learned to understand and accept that, even if she does not like it.

She draws closer, away from the trees where she pulses strongest—for it was in the trees that she withered away to nothingness—and has to fight through the wind to get near. The wind tears at her barely-there body – she doesn’t have skin or hair, lips or breasts or wind-warmed cheeks; all she has is her essence, concentrated into one place.

She kneels beside him, twisting her sewn lips this way and that. She feels cold, cold, cold: the hunger in her belly rumbles, sates, rumbles, sates. It bewilders her, but she understands it a little – she is not fully here, and so neither is her desire. The creeping chill in her veins reminds her of that–that she is even less tangible than the ghosts–and she forces her trembling essence to the ground beside him.

He is without his chiton; his dark hairs stand stiffly up from his skin. His face is tilted away from her, and she wishes that it was not; if he was turned towards her, his breath—always hot, hot, hot—might warm her. But he is not, and she doesn’t have the energy to force her not-there body to move once again, so she lies, still and silent, on the cool, hard ground.

Eos flits overhead; dew streams from her fingers and falls down, down, down – it goes through Ekho and she feels it, oh, she feels it. She closes her eyes and imagines that they, too, were sewn. She opens them again and smiles to find that they are not.

Pan, restless in his sleep as in his waking hours, shifts. He turns; his breath warms Ekho’s forehead, and she tries, in vain, to bury herself closer to him. She can’t, though; he is too far away, and she can’t move. The chill has frozen her; it is all that she can do to remain beside him.

He surprises her, then. Still asleep, he inches closer, until his bare, hairy chest presses against where hers should be. She recalls the feeling of her nipples hardening and smiles – if she had a body, that would have happened. His arms remain flung above his head, but one of his legs move; it winds around her essence, her ever-so-barely-there illusion of a body, and draws her closer.

His warmth begins to seep through her; she imagines fire coarsing through her nonexistent veins, chasing away the shards of ice. She imagines heat settling over her like a blanket; she imagines her own body, warmed by sex and flushed, red and open in the early dawn hours.

He stirs. His eyes open, and lock on where she thinks hers are. He smiles, and his head moves. She tilts her own back—or tries to; she recalls how it felt to do so, and tries to recreate that feeling—and feels, just for an instant, the brush of his lips over hers.

The wind finally batters through her, then; she is torn apart and torn away from her Pan. She collects her essence as best she can and flees for the trees, wrapping herself into the dewy leaves; if she lets herself go and simply succumbs to the wind, she will truly fade to nothing.

“I love you,” Pan shouts, his voice raw with hunger and, yet, softened by sleep – and tenderness.

She answers in the only way she can, throwing his words back at him with a slap of emotion, of strangled, tortured, aching love: “I love you.”

So it goes; the twilight passes, and she fades into silence as the day begins.