A Thought for Today – The Goddess Hecate or Hekate


Now Phoibe sought the love-delighting couch
Of Kaios and embracing with a god
Conceived the goddess and to her is born
Latona, robed with azure, ever mild,
To mortals placid and immortal gods;
Mild from her birth and gladsome o’er the rest
In Heaven.
Anon she famed Asteria bore
Whom Perses, to his ample palace erst
Leading, proclaimed his bride. She fruitful teemed
With Hecate, whom the Saturnian king
O’er all hath honoured and with glorious gifts
Endowed: allotting her divided sway
O’er earth and o’er the main untillable.
Nor less her honour in the starry skies
Chief reverenced by immortals and who’er
Of earth-born men with customed sacrifice
Propitiates Heaven, he then the name invokes
Of Hecate; abundant honour straight
Shall follow on his path, if to that prayer
Gracious the goddess leans and opulence
Attends his footsteps; for the power is hers.
O’er all the gods who born from earth and heaven
Received their share of glory, she supreme
Allotted empire holds: nor aught from her
Of all those honours midst the elder gods
Titanic held, hath Zeus in violence
Revoked or snatcht away; but as it stood:
In the beginning, so her portioned power
Endures. She sole-begotten, higher meed
Of glory hath obtained, far ampler sway
O’er Heaven and earth and main: for her doth Zeus
Delight to honour.
Lo! to whom she wills
Her presence is vouchsafed and instant aid
Magnific; whom she views with gracious eyes
He mid the forum o’er the people shines
Conspicuous. When the mailed men arise
To deadly battle, comes the goddess prompt
To whom she wills; bids rapid victory
Await them and extends the wreath of fame.
She sits upon the sacred judgment seat
Of venerable monarchs. She is found
Propitious, when in solemn games the youth
Contending strive; there is the goddess nigh
With succour; he whose hardiment and strength
Victorious prove with ease the graceful palm
Achieving, joyous o’er his parents’ age
Sheds a bright gleam of glory. She is known
To them propitious, who the fiery steed
Rein in the course; and them who labouring cleave
Thro the blue watery vast the untractable way.
They call upon the name of Hecate
With vows; and his, loud-sounding god of waves,
Earth-shaking Poseidon; easily at will
The glorious goddess yields the woodland prey
Abundant; easily, while scarce they start
On the mockt vision, snatches them in flight.
She too with Hermes is propitious found
To herd and fold and bids increase the droves
Innumerable of goats and fleecy flocks,
And swells their numbers or their numbers thins.
The sole-begotten of her mother’s love
She thus is honoured with all goodly gifts
Among immortals. Her did Zeus appoint
The nursing mother bland of infant youth;
Of all who thenceforth to the morn’s broad light
Should raise the tender lid — this from the first
Her soothing office and her honours these.

Author of original: Hesiod


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