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Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, by Charles G. Leland, [1899], at

p. 125

Diana, Queen of the Serpents, Giver of the Gift of Languages

In a long and strange legend of Melambo, a magian and great physician of divine birth, there is an invocation to Diana which has a proper place in this work. The incident in which it occurs is as follows:--

One day Melambo asked his mother how it was that while it had been promised that he should know the language of all living things, it had not yet come to pass. And his mother replied:--

"Patience, my son, for it is by waiting and watching ourselves that we learn how to be taught. And thou hast within thee the teachers who can impart the most, if thou wilt seek to hear them, yes, the professors who can teach thee more in a few minutes than others learn in a life."

It befell that one evening Melambo, thinking on this while playing with a nest of young serpents which his servant had found in a hollow oak, said:--

"I would that I could talk with you
Well I know that ye have language,
As graceful as your movement,
As brilliant as your colour."

p. 126

Then he fell asleep, and the young serpents twined in his hair and began to lick his lips and eyes, while their mother sang:--

"Diana! Diana! Diana!
Regina delle strege!
E della notte oscura,
E di tutta la natura!
Delle stelle e della luna,
E di tutta la fortuna!
Tu che reggi la marea,
Che risplendi il mare nella sera!
Colla luce sulle onde,
La padrona sei del oceano,
Colla tua barca, fatta,
Fatta à mezza luna,
La tua barca rilucente,
Barca e luna crescente;
Fai sempre velo in cielo,
E in terra sulla sera,
E anche à navigare
Riflettata sulla mare,
Preghiamo di dare a questo,
Questo buon Melambo,
Qualunque parlare
Di qualunque animali!"

The Invocation of the Serpents' Mother to Diana.

"Diana! Diana! Diana!
Queen of all enchantresses
And of the dark night, p. 127
And of all nature,
Of the stars and of the moon,
And of all fate or fortune!
Thou who rulest the tide,
Who shinest by night on the sea,
Casting light upon the waters;
Thou who art mistress of the ocean
In thy boat made like a crescent,
Crescent moon-bark brightly gleaming,
Ever smiling high in heaven,
Sailing too on earth, reflected
In the ocean, on its water;
We implore thee give this sleeper,
Give unto this good Melambo
The great gift of understanding
What all creatures say while talking!"

This legend contains much that is very curious; among other things an invocation to the firefly, one to Mefitia, the goddess of malaria, and a long poetic prophecy relative to the hero. It is evidently full of old Latin mythologic lore of a very marked character. The whole of it may be found in a forthcoming work by the writer of the book, entitled, "The Unpublished Legends of Virgil." London, Elliot Stock.

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