I sing now to Methe, joyful and unrestrained,
goddess who knows the worth of pleasure, the value
of forgetfulness. Yours is the flow of words,
the loosening of the tongue; yours is merriment
and good cheer, the heady sweetness of the wine,
the wild-hearted dance, the fire of ecstasy,
the rule of the heart, impulse obeyed,
stories that never end, tales only true
in the telling. Companion of Dionysos,
you travel with his retinue, you follow in his wake;
we know you in the brimming cup, the stumbling step,
an evening’s evanescent grace. I honor you, O Methe.
Kindly Anteros, good of heart and great of mercy,
son of brave Ares and sea-born Aphrodite,
brother of Eros who aims his sharp shafts
at one and all, yours is a treasure more precious than gold:
a love requited and returned. Shining Anteros,
bright-winged as the butterfly, a love long-lived
is yours to give, a heart filled full with all delight,
the solace of a life’s companion, the sweetness
of fulfilled desire. Friend of the faithful, good Anteros,
your blessing comes to the tender-hearted–
your wrath to those who play at love, whose cruelty snuffs
a steady flame. Grant me your favor, compassionate one.
To Pothos, great of repute, great of might,
imminent and inevitable, companion
of fair Aphrodite and the Erotes,
yours is the gift of sweet desire that fills the heart
and fires the loins, a gift that sears the soul.
Yours is the cup of passion, from which you pour,
lavishly and with abandon, upon all humankind,
a blessing of unreason, an irresistible call;
yours is the longing of the lovelorn, the yearning
of the distant lover, of those torn from the arms
of their beloved, separated by need, by duty,
or by sorrowful circumstance. Pothos, to you I pray.
I praise you, O Himeros, mighty beyond wisdom,
whose care is for the heart and all its whims and fancies,
the seduction of necessity, unbending
and indomitable, irresistible force of nature,
friend of bright Eros whose darts hit every mark,
constant companion of fair Aphrodite,
bearer of the champion’s ribbon, wielder of the bow,
yours is impatience, the drive that brings us all to life,
yours is the power within a lover’s eyes.
You are desire, O Himeros, the sweetness of longing,
the passion that seeks an end that is no end.
I pray to you, O Himeros, grant me your blessings!
To Thanatos, so kind and so good, I offer my praise.
Son of the darkness and the night, of wise Erebos
and raven-haired Nyx, brother of Hypnos who grants a respite
ephemeral and sweet, O Thanatos, you bring a repose
of a longer span–an endless sleep is yours to bestow.
Beautiful Thanatos, well-wreathed with poppies red as blood,
black-winged god, fleet-footed one, bearer of the sharp-edged sword
with which you cut a lock of hair from each who enters Hades’ realm:
some call you merciless, hard of heart, O god who takes
from us those we most love–and yet, dear Thanatos,
yours is a mercy great and freeing, a boundless comfort,
a final peace. O god who gives us life’s last blessing, I praise you.
I offer my praise to Ganymede, great one of Troy,
son of the river-god’s daughter, companion of Eros,
fairest of mortal men. So beautiful you were,
O Ganymede, so bright a flower in the field,
that Zeus himself one summer day came down to you
from Olympos’ heights: a shepherd boy, you watched your herd
with care; in swept the great god on eagle’s wings
and carried you away to the hall of the gods,
to be his cup-bearer, to make you full welcome
among the deathless gods. Beloved of the thunderer,
O god who is a friend to lovers, I pray to you,
O Ganymede, I praise and honor you.
I call out to Peitho, great daughter of Ocean
and sea-striding Tethys, fair of fame and great of name.
Peitho who is the irresistible voice,
who is the sound of the surf, who is bird-song
and fair weather, whose gift it is to turn the tides,
to bring about a change in reason, I pray to you.
Companion of Aphrodite, beguiler of hearts,
refiner of feeling, yours is the divergence of passions,
the coaxing of lovers, the fascination of love;
you are seduction, the call of need to need;
you are the soul and sweetness of persuasion.
Peitho, herald of the heart, I honor you.