To Melinoe

Orphic Hymn 70: To Melinoe

(adapted from the translation by Thomas Taylor)

The Fumigation from Aromatics.
Call Melinoe, saffron-veiled, terrene, who from chthonic Hades’ sacred queen,
Mixed with Kronion Zeus, arose, near where Cocytus’ mournful river flows;
When under Plouton’s semblance,
Zeus divine deceived with guileful arts dark Persephone.
Hence, partly black your limbs and partly white, from Plouton dark, from Zeus etherial, bright
Your colored members, people by night inspire when seen in spectral forms with terrors dire;
Now darkly visible, involved in night, perspicuous now they meet the fearful fight.
Terrestrial queen, expel wherever found, the soul’s mad fears to earth’s remotest bound;
With holy aspect on our incense shrine, and bless your mystics, and the rites divine.