The Hymn.

1st Strophe.

Hail ! thou whose crown,1
Not made of gold, gleams bright when gold is dimmed,2
Not twined of roses, blooms when roses die,3
Persephone ! by me till now unhymned ;4
Till now,—but now mine eye5
Hath seen thee, and I praise thee. Thou far down6
Wast carried, under Enna’s plain,7
In wider realms to rise again,8
And share his throne whose awful frown9
Shakes all that live with dread,10
Whose smile sheds sunlight on the righteous dead.11

1st Antistrophe.

Spouse of a king12
Who rules his subjects with such gentle sway13
That none from out of all that myriad band14
Has ever sought his laws to disobey,15
Or to escape his hand,*16
Thou canst not mourn for thy long-vanished spring,17
Or pant to share the hollow mirth,18
Or see the fitful lights of earth,19
Now that a steadier radiance fling20
Round thee, with splendour pure,21
The rays no night can quench nor mist obscure.22

2d Strophe.

Hail ! awful queen !23
Thou, who the earthen vessel shatterest,24
Giving to sight25
The gem within, till now unseen !26
Thou, who dost wave thy wand and scatterest27
The phantom host,28
That eager troop around29
The seekers after light !30
Thou bringer-forth to view of treasures lost ;31
By whose pure hands the coils that Life has bound32
In tangled maze, are straight unwound !33

2d Antistrophe.

Hail ! gracious one !34
Who liftest up from earth, safe carrying,35
Mighty and kind,36
The traveller whose long march is done ;37
Who longed for thy white feet, far tarrying38
On distant hill,39
As heavier grew his load40
As fiercer blew the wind :41
Once on thy bosom, he forgets all ill ;42
Borne in thine arms, o’er ocean’s trackless road,43
To island, of the blessed abode.44

3d Strophe.

Hail ! Lady of fair flowers,45
More lasting than on earth that grow ;46
For these with morning blow,47
Ope wide at noon, and droop at even-tide :48
But those that deck thy bowers49
Bloom on, a fadeless glory and a pride.50
No worm is at their root,51
And, when they turn to fruit,52
It keeps the promise of its birth.53
Nay more, within thy garners safe abide54
The sheaves we toiled to raise, but might not bind on earth.55

* See Socrates in Plato’s Dialogues.

3d Antistrophe.

Hail ! thou who dost unite 56
The severed once by change, or death !57
Where turf, thy trees beneath,58
Spreads green and smooth in many an open glade,59
Friend after friend to sight60
Steps forth, and greets us from the holy shade.61
No whisper breathe they sad,—62
Their brows are clear and glad.63
There Orpheus meets Eurydice,64
Antigone her brethren ; nor afraid65
Is now the Theban king to bless his children three.66

4th Strophe.

Hail ! Cleanser, hail !67
Whose holy touch removes the stain,68
The blot from sire to children cleaving,69
Which men have washed, and washed, in vain.70
To-morrow ’twill be gone,” Hope cries, deceiving ;71
Yet prayer and effort fail.72
But thou hast lustral waters, far73
More cleansing than in temples are ;74
Their dew makes pure at once ; and, clean again,75
Within thy halls we stand, for gladness scarce believing.76

4th Antistrophe.

Hail ! Giver great77
To man of his desire, long sought,78
But unaccomplished ! Thou, his wish fulfilling,79
Dost give him what he grasped by thought80
Awhile, but vainly : disappointment chilling81
Still followed soon or late.82
Earth’s gifts to shadows turns thy hand :83
Earth’s dreams it bids substantial stand84
Around us, into life from shadows brought ;—85
Our heart’s deep thirst with love, our mind’s with wisdom stilling.86


Hail ! dealer of true praise !87
With thee the tinsel fades, the diamond glows.88
Hail ! Mighty Teacher, hail ! Thou dost disclose89
The secret hid from man for many days ;90
Thy Hand unseals his eyelids, and he knows91
The God he sought in vain on earth by winding ways.92