Brass-beating Salians, ministers of Mars,
Who guard his arms the instruments of wars
Whose blessed frames, heav'n, earth, and sea compose,
And from whose breath all animals arose:
Who dwell in Samothracia's sacred ground, 5
Defending mortals thro' the sea profound.
Deathless Curetes, by your pow'r alone,
Initial rites to men at first were shewn:
Who shake old Ocean thund'ring to the sky,
And stubborn oaks with branches waving high. 10
'Tis your's in glittering arms the earth to beat,
With lightly-leaping, rapid, sounding feet;
Then every beast the noise terrific flies,
And the loud tumult wanders thro' the skies:
The dust your feet excites with matchless force, 15
Flies to the clouds amidst their whirling course;
And ev'ry flower of variegated hue,
Grows in the dancing motion form'd by you.
Immortal dæmons, to your pow'rs consign'd
The talk to nourish, and destroy mankind. 20
When rushing furious with loud tumult dire,
O'erwhelm'd, they perish in your dreadful ire;
And live replenish'd with the balmy air,
The food of life, committed to your care.
When shook by you, the seas, with wild uproar, 25
Wide-spreading, and profoundly whirling, roar:
The concave heav'ns, with Echo's voice resound,
When leaves with ruffling noise bestrew the ground.
Curetes, Corybantes, ruling kings,
Whose praise the land of Samothracia sings: 30
From Jove descended; whose immortal breath
Sustains the soul, and wafts her back from death;
Aerial-form'd, much-fam'd, in heav'n ye shine
Two-fold, in heav'n all-lucid and divine:
Blowing, serene, from whom abundance springs, 35
Nurses of seasons, fruit-producing kings.
167:+ XXXVII. + The Curetes are plainly celebrated in this Hymn as the winds; the reason of which is as follows. Saturn, who according p. 168 to the Orphic theology as related by Proclus, is allotted a supercelestial and intellectual essence produced Jupiter from Rhea. And Jupiter, or the demiurgus of the universe, silently emerged into light from the three principles, Æther, Chaos, and Night conflicting together, and mutually concurring with, and separating from each other. Now these three principles are interpreted by Julian, Orat. v. as the Corybantes: and hence with perfect agreement to the Orphic symbolical theology, the mutual conflict of these principles, is represented by the impetuous Fury of the winds.