DAUGHTER of Jove, almighty and divine,
Come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline:
Only-begotten, Pluto's honor'd wife, 3
O venerable Goddess, source of life:
'Tis thine in earth's profundities to dwell, 5
Fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell:
Jove's holy offspring, of a beauteous mien,
Fatal, with lovely locks, infernal queen:
Source of the furies, whose blest frame proceeds
From Jove's ineffable and secret seeds: 10
Mother of Bacchus, Sonorous, divine,
And many-form'd, the parent of the vine:
The dancing Hours attend thee, essence bright,
All-ruling virgin, bearing heav'nly light:
Illustrious, horned, of a bounteous mind, 13
Alone desir'd by those of mortal kind.
O, vernal queen, whom grassy plains delight,
Sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight:
Whose holy form in budding fruits we view,
Earth's vig'rous offspring of a various hue: 20
Espous'd in Autumn: life and death alone 21
To wretched mortals from thy power is known:
For thine the task according to thy will, 23
Life to produce, and all that lives to kill.
Hear, blessed Goddess, send a rich increase 25
Of various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace;
Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my life
With blest abundance, free from noisy strife;
Last in extreme old age the prey of Death,
Dismiss we willing to the realms beneath, 30
To thy fair palace, and the blissful plains
Where happy spirits dwell, and Pluto reigns.
153:3 Ver. 3] Only-begotten. Καὶ γὰρ ὁ Θεολογός την κόρην ΜΟΥΝΟ-ΓΕΝΕΙΑΝ ἔιαθε προσαγορεύειν. Proc. Tim. 2 extra p. 139. 9. i.e. "I see that the theologist (meaning Orpheus) calls Proserpine, "Only-begotten".
154:21 Ver. 21.] Espous'd in Autumn. We have already observed in the Dissertation, that the Orphic theologers considered a difference of sex in the divinities; attributing the male to some, and the female to others. Now the mutual commerce and energy subsisting between these Gods and Goddesses, they denominated Ιεροι Γαμοι, i. e. "holy marriages:" or according to Proclus, on the Parmenides of Plato, as cited by Eschenbach, in Epig. p. 59. they mystically called, the simple kindred conjunction, and communion of divine causes, a marriage. And Proserpine, or the animating part of the earth's soul, may he considered as resting in Autumn, from all farther productions; her powers at that time having attained their full perfection.
Hence at this period may we not say, that she is wholly abstracted from the animal life, and secretly united with Pluto, or the intellectual part of the earth's soul; from whom she receives the divine light of mind, and copious streams of the nectar of divine knowledge.
154:23 Ver. 23.] For thine the task, &c. Proclus, in Theol. Plat. p. 371, informs us, that, according to the Eleusinian mysteries, Proserpine together with Pluto, governs terrestrial concerns, and the recesses of the earth: that she supplies life to the extreme p. 155 parts of the universe, and imparts soul to those, who, by her power, are rendered inanimate and dead. This is perfectly agreeable to the 23d and following line.