Home > Uncategorized > Callimachus: Nurse peace, that he who sows may also reap

Callimachus: Nurse peace, that he who sows may also reap

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Callimachus
From The Hymns
Translated by A.W. Mair

And thou thyself didst take up the child from the golden earth and lay him in thy lap and thou spakest saying: “O mighty and of many altars and many cities, bounteous earth! Rich continents and ye islands set around lo! I am as thou see’st – hard of tillage; yet from me shall Apollo be called ‘Of Delos’, and none other among all lands shall be so beloved by any other god…Thus didst thou speak and the child drew the sweet breast.

Wherefore from that day thou art famed as the most holy of islands, nurse of Apollo’s youth. On thee treads not Enyo nor Hades nor the horses of Ares; but every year tithes of first-fruits are sent to thee: to thee all cities lead up choirs, both those cities which have cast their lots toward the East and those toward the West and those in the South, and the peoples which have their homes above the northern shore…

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Hail, goddess, and save this people in harmony and in prosperity, and in the fields bring us all pleasant things! Feed our kine, bring us flocks, bring us the corn-ear, bring us harvest! And nurse peace, that he who sows may also reap…

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