Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": THE EARTH, MOTHER OF ALL


('The Homeric Hymns,' xxx)

I will sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed of her store. Through you, 0 queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honour! He has all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with everfresh delight, and their daughters with flower laden hands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus it is with those whom you honour 0 holy goddess, bountiful spirit.

Hail, Mother of the gods, wife of starry Heaven; freely bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart! And now I will remember you and another song also.


Translation by Hugh G. Evans-White, in the Loeb Classical Library (New York, 1914) p. 456

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