The Orphic Hymn to Antinous
A thousand times hail to you,
best beloved of the gods:
Antinous, who sports with Bassarids
on the wild mountainsides of Arcadia–
Mother Antaia has taken you
to her breast with her daughters,
Persephone, Melinoe, and Hekate
by the fires in Eleusis’ temple;
Leukothea saw your sad fall
into the waves of Neilos,
and Palaimon sang your funeral dirge
upon waves against Egypt’s shores–
Pankrates Paion, the leader of Muses
who gives true oracles in his temples,
the Bithynian who shelters
under the cover of Nyx.
Selene has placed your face as a shield
to crown her white shining orb in the heavens,
and Mise has come dancing
to be a fruitful nymph at your feet.
Sabazios has handed you the thyrsus
as he passed the serpents between your breast,
and Hermes Psychopompos has shown you
all the secret paths between Thanatos and Hypnos.
Mnemosyne has given her approval
to all words that praise your beauty,
and the thunderbolts of Zeus himself
peel and pale at the sight of you.
Physis makes the cosmos to praise you,
and Hipta calls you foremost of her children;
gold-winged Aphrodite ties your kynodesme
as you contend with Eros at wrestling.
O fortunate Neilos, who kissed your flesh,
who made flowers to bloom in the black land;
O Artemis Kourotrophos in Ephesus,
a hero comes to birth at your favor!
May I seek your face in the fields below
and find solace greater than white cypress,
I, child of Gaia and of Ouranos,
but my soul is of Nyx alone.