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$ 47. The Lesser Divinities of Earth were :
(1) Pan, son of Mercury and a wood-nymph or Dryad. ) He was the god of woods and fields, of flocks and shepherds. He dwelt in caves, swandered on the mountains and in valleys, amused himself with the chase, led the dances of the Dryads, and made love to them. But his suit was frequently of no avail, for though good-natured, he was not prepossessing ; his hoofs and horns did not enhance his comeliness. He was fond of music, and was himself inventor of the syrinx, or shepherd's pipe, which he played in a masterly manner. Like other gods who dwelt in forests, he was dreaded by those whose occupations caused them to pass through the woods by night; for gloom and loneliness oppress and appal the mind. Hence sudden unreasonable fright was ascribed to Pan, and called a Panic terror.
(2) The Nymphs. —Pan's partners in the dance, the Dryads, were but one of several classes of nymphs. There were, beside them, the Oreads, nymphs of mountains and grottos; and the Water-nymphs, who are mentioned in $ 54.
(3) The Satyrs, deities of the woods and fields. | In early art they appear as bearded creatures with snub noses, goats' ears and horses' tails (p. 175). Later they resemble youths, sometimes with sprouting horns. The goat-legged satyr is found in Roman poetry.
THE GODS OF THE UNDERWORLD.
$ 48. The Underworld was the region of darkness inhabited by the spirits of the dead, and governed by Pluto (Hades) and Proserpina, his queen. According to the Iliad, this realm lay deep in the bowels of the Earth ;but in the Odyssey it is in the far west on a low-lying island of Ocean. The realm of dark
ness underground is bounded by awful rivers ! the Styx, sacred even among the gods, for by it they sealed their oaths, and the Acheron, river of woe, — with its tributaries, Phlegethon, river of fire, and Cocytus, river of wailing. According to the Odyssey,
it was the duty of Mercury to conduct the spirits of the dead to this realm of Pluto ;) but/in later poems we read that Charon, a grim boatman, received them at the River of Woe, and ferried them across, Af the money requisite for their passage had been placed in their mouths, and their bodies had been duly buried in the world above.?! Otherwise he left them gibbering on the hither bank. The abode of Pluto is represented as wide-gated, and thronged with guests. At the gate Cerberus, a three-headed, serpent-tailed dog, lay on guard, — friendly to the spirits entering, but inimical to those who would depart. The palace itself is dark and gloomy, set in the midst of uncanny fields haunted by strange apparitions. The groves are of sombre trees, — willows and silver poplars. The meads of Asphodel, where wander the shades, are barren, or, at best, studded with futile bushes and pale-flowered weeds. This is the Garden of Proserpine.
neighbor, 1 review me.
Here life has death, for neighbor,
And far from eye or ear icon
Weak ships and spirits steer;
And no such things grow here.
Who gathers all things mortal >
With cold immortal hands;
From many times and lands.
She waits for each and other,
She waits for all men born;
The life of fruits and corn;
And flowers are put to scorn.
And joy was never sure;
Time stoops to no man's lure;
Weeps that no loves endure.
From too much love of living, }
From hope and fear set free,
Whatever gods may be
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light;
Nor any sound or sight;
In an eternal night.1 1 From the Garden of Proserpine, by A. C. Swinburne.
With the ghosts of Hades the living might but rarely communicate, and only through certain oracles of the dead, situate by cavernous spots and sheer abysms, deep and melancholy streams, and baleful marshes. These naturally seemed to afford access to the world below. One of these descents to the Underworld was near Tænarum in Laconia ; another, near Cumæ in Italy, was Lake Avernus, so foul in its exhalations that, as its name portends, no bird could fly across it. Before the judges of the lower world, Minos, Æacus, and Rhadamanthus, — the souls of the dead were brought to trial. The condemned were assigned to regions where all manner of torment awaited them at the hands of monsters dire, - the fifty-headed Hydra and the avenging Furies. Some evil-doers, such as the Titans of old, were doomed to languish in the gulf of Tartarus immeasurably below. But the souls of the guiltless passed to the Elysian Fields, where each followed the chosen pursuit of his former life in a land of spring, sunlight, happiness, and song. And by the Fields there flowed the river Lethe, from which the souls of those that were to return to the earth in other bodies drank oblivion of their former lives.
A conception of the realm of Pluto in the western seas, to which Hermes conducts the outworn ghosts of mortals, is recorded in a passage of the Odyssey,” already cited (§ 41). The White Rock which they pass on their way symbolizes, perchance, the bleaching skeletons of the dead. The people of this world - of ghosts and clouds and darkness — are also sometimes named the Cimmerians, and are then located in the far north, where the sun neither rises nor sets. But Homer's Elysium of the western seas is a happy land, not tried by sun, nor cold, nor rain, but always fanned by the gentle breezes of Zephyrus. Hither favored heroes 1 Æneid 6.
2 Odyssey 24:1.