Maiden girl, strong of heart, upon the mountainside,
Had Artemis taught the huntress’ art in your tender youth?
To brave the untamable wilds where men dare not,
To wrestle the bright-maned lion to the rocky sloping stone,
Strong of arm, strong of spirit, to protect the tender flock,
To draw the fated blood from the lion’s tawny neck,
With not a weapon in your shapely hand!
Strong-limbed, bright-browed, were you a nymph in her company?
Delighting in the spear and flashing arrow to bring the beast to ground,
And how many hearts of gods did turn to see racing girls,
With wild cries and dancing steps across the mountainside.
Artemis prepared the way, rearing you in her wild arts,
Producing a spirit that would stay, to not be hindered by dreaded fear,
To not take to the wind and flee away, but to know the game of hunt,
And the fortune to which it ends,
This dance between hunter and hunted.
Why would not a god, when seeing your valiant spirit bright,
Not have the heart within his breast beat for you his bride.
He caught you from the mountainside, to tangle with a greater hunt,
Danger never sweeter than that loving hunter who draws in quick,
To capture his maiden huntress bride upon that high windy cliff.
To Apollo Creusa bore Ion,
And sprung a fair granddaughter, Chlidanope,
And she in grace bore you, lovely nymph,
Born to capture a golden heart.
For Apollo to love you upon windy Pelion,
And he loved you in the flowered bed,
Arranged so artfully by the pillow
And by the bloom of Aphrodite’s blessed hand.
And there the bright-haired women in joy
Did dance to your marriage crown.
Hail to you most blessed among women, fire-sparking heart,
To you born a great generation, nurtured at the breast of the Earth.
Fortunate woman in Apollo’s loving embrace, mortal-born nymph,
Apollo’s tender gifts ran plenty for his love, his bright-eyed bride,
To your honor and affection
The nymphai dwell in company at your side.
— Lykeia (Published in Hymns from the Temple, 2010)