6. ΕΙΣ ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗΝ
Αἰδοίην χρυσοστέφανον καλὴν Ἀφροδίτην ἄισομαι, ἣ πάσης Κύπρου κρήδεμνα λέλογχεν εἰναλίης, ὅθι μιν Ζεφύρου μένος ὑγρὸν ἀέντος ἤνεικεν κατὰ κῦμα πολυφλοίσβοιο θαλάσσης 5ἀφρῶι ἔνι μαλακῶι· τὴν δὲ χρυσάμπυκες Ὧραι δέξαντ᾿ ἀσπασίως, περὶ δ᾿ ἄμβροτα εἵματα ἕσσαν, κρατὶ δ᾿ ἔπ᾿ ἀθανάτωι στεφάνην εὔτυκτον ἔθηκαν καλὴν χρυσείην, ἐν δὲ τρητοῖσι λοβοῖσιν ἄνθεμ᾿ ὀρειχάλκου χρυσοῖό τε τιμήεντος, 10δειρῆι δ᾿ ἀμφ᾿ ἁπαλῆι καὶ στήθεσιν ἀργυφέοισιν ὅρμοισι χρυσέοισιν ἐκόσμεον, οἷσί περ αὐταί Ὧραι κοσμείσθην χρυσάμπυκες, ὁππότ᾿ ἴοιεν ἐς χορὸν ἱμερόεντα θεῶν καὶ δώματα πατρός. αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ πάντα περὶ χροῒ κόσμον ἔθηκαν, 15ἦγον ἐς ἀθανάτους· οἳ δ᾿ ἠσπάζοντο ἰδόντες χερσί τ᾿ ἐδεξιόωντο· καὶ ἠρήσαντο ἕκαστος εἶναι κουριδίην ἄλοχον καὶ οἴκαδ᾿ ἄγεσθαι, εἶδος θαυμάζοντες ἰοστεφάνου Κυθερείης.
χαῖρ᾿ ἑλικοβλέφαρε, γλυκυμείλιχε, δὸς δ᾿ ἐν ἀγῶνι 20νίκην τῶιδε φέρεσθαι, ἐμὴν δ᾿ ἔντυνον ἀοιδήν. αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ καὶ σεῖο καὶ ἄλλης μνήσομ᾿ ἀοιδῆς.
6. To Aphrodite
Of the reverend, gold-crowned, lovely Aphrodite I will sing, who has been assigned the citadels of all Cyprus that is in the sea. That is where the wet-blowing westerly’s force brought her across the swell of the noisy main, in soft foam;51 and the Horai with headbands of gold received her gladly, and clothed her in divine clothing. On her immortal head they put a finely wrought diadem, a beautiful gold one, and in her pierced ear lobes flowers of orichalc and precious gold. About her tender throat and her white breast they decked her in golden necklaces, the ones that the gold-crowned Horai themselves would be decked with whenever they went to the gods’ lovely dance at their father’s house. When they had put all the finery about her body, they led her to the immortals, who welcomed her on sight and took her hand in greeting; and each of them prayed to take her home as his wedded wife, as they admired the beauty of violet-crowned Cytherea.
I salute you, sweet-and-gentle one of curling lashes: grant me victory in this competition, and order my singing. And I will take heed both for you and for other singing.
- 51Hesiod, Theogony 188–200, relates that when Kronos cut off his father Ouranos’ genitals and threw them in the sea, foam formed round them, and in it Aphrodite was born. It floated first to Cythera and then to Cyprus, where she emerged. Hence she is called Cytherea, Cyprian, and because of the foam (aphros) Aphrodite.