68. Ὑγείας, θυμίαμα μάνναν.
To Hygieia, Goddess of Health
Divine medium: manna
Ἱμερόεσσ’, ἐρατή, πολυθάλμιε, παμβασίλεια,
Longed for beloved essence, abundantly thriving, all-prevailing Queen,
κλῦθι, μάκαιρ’ Ὑγίεια, φερόλβιε, μῆτερ ἁπάντων·
I call blessed Hygieia, bearer of whole life blessings, companion of mothers.
ἐκ σέο γὰρ νοῦσοι μὲν ἀποφθινύθουσι βροτοῖσι,
Expel illness’ power to lay waste to humans,
πᾶς δὲ δόμος θάλλει πολυγηθὴς εἵνεκα σεῖο,
And let all households thrive with the plenty of Ge’s blessings
καὶ τέχναι βρίθουσι· ποθεῖ δέ σε κόσμος, ἄνασσα,
And potent healing arts. All the universe longs for you, Anassa.
μοῦνος δὲ στυγέει σ’ Ἀίδης ψυχοφθόρος αἰεί,
You are only despised by Aides’ Psyche-destroyed eternity.
ἀιθαλής, εὐκταιοτάτη, θνητῶν ἀνάπαυμα·
Eternally thrive, triumph well over mortals’ coming repose,
σοῦ γὰρ ἄτερ πάντ’ ἐστὶν ἀνωφελῆ ἀνθρώποισιν·
Without your boundless essence humanity cannot profit,
οὔτε γὰρ ὀλβοδότης πλοῦτος γλυκερὸς θαλίηισιν,
Without your whole life gifts, only Ploutos’ wealth sweetly flourishes,
οὔτε γέρων πολύμοχθος ἄτερ σέο γίγνεται ἀνήρ·
Not with old age’s many hardships, but with undried men in the prime of life.
πάντων γὰρ κρατέεις μούνη καὶ πᾶσιν ἀνάσσεις.
Almighty power, sole ruler of all,
ἀλλά, θεά, μόλε μυστιπόλοις ἐπιτάρροθος αἰεὶ
Goddess, bestow the mystic rites of preservation eternal,
ῥυομένη νούσων χαλεπῶν κακόποτμον ἀνίην.
Ward off grievous illness, unfasten ill-starred fate.
Hygieia (Ὑγίεια) is the immortal Goddess of health, the source of the word “hygiene,” literally “pure (Ὑ) + generative (γ) + divine power (ί) + essence-of (ε) + divine-power (ι).”
Hygieia and her father, Asklepios (Ἀσκληπιός), God of medicine, are depicted in art accompanied by a serpent. Serpents are ambassadors of Earthly deities, thus representing both life-giving and death-receiving aspects. Ancient Greek legends tell of herbal medicines presented to healers by serpents, such as the famous story of Polyidus (Πολύϊδος) restoring life to Glaucus (Γλαύκος) when a serpent presented a miraculous herb.
Basileia means Queen, the “basis” of rule. Anassa means Goddess, Queen.
Ge is the immortal Goddess of generative earth.
Aides is also known as “Hades,” the immortal God of the afterlife. Plouto is another name for the immortal God of the afterlife. Plouto’s realm expands when deaths increase.
Psyche is the immortal Goddess of the mortal soul, literally "incorporeal (ψ) + pure (υ) + foundation (χ)."
Undried: The two words “ἄτερ σέο” without the space become “ἄτερσέο,” that is, “undried.” The idea is that without Hygieia, Plouto receives the deceased in the prime of life.