Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Earth done quaketh!

I've always loved this Lewis Black line, but today... not so funny. Colorado in the morning and most of the eastern seaboard in the afternoon! NYC was shaking! WTF!?!

Time to show some love and appreciation for Neptune, the Earth shaker! His domain is more than the sea, it's the crust of the earth itself which lies beneath the seas. I'm posting several different hymns to Him below. I say we start paying attention now and skip the overturned-plastic-chair-ha-ha-look-at-the-"destruction"-neener-neener meme.

Let's also give a nod to Nethuns, the Etruscan (Latin?) predecessor of Neptune. According to various sources, he was originally a God of wells and later came to rule all water. He has much in common with Poseidon and Neptune including the trident, the anchor, the sea horse, and the dolphin. (Thanks to!) According to Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria:
Neptune is of rare occurrence in Etruscan monuments, which is singular, considering the maritime character of the people. The name "Nethuns" occurs on a mirror in the Gregorian Museum (Vol. II. p520). Gerhard (Gottheit. pp2, 19) regards this as the Latin name, and doubts if Neptune were an Etruscan deity, though he is said to have been one of the Penates (Arnob. adv. Nat. III.40; Serv. ad Aen. II.325), but Müller (III.3, 4) says justly, if the name be not Etruscan, that people must have had a god of the sea.

XVI. To Neptune
The Fumigation from Myrrh
Hear, Neptune [Poseidon], ruler of the sea profound,
whose liquid grasp begirts the solid ground;
Who, at the bottom of the stormy main,
dark and deep-bosom'd, hold'st thy wat'ry reign;
Thy awful hand the brazen trident bears,
and ocean's utmost bound, thy will reveres:
Thee I invoke, whose steeds the foam divide,
from whose dark locks the briny waters glide;
Whose voice loud founding thro' the roaring deep,
drives all its billows, in a raging heap;
When fiercely riding thro' the boiling sea,
thy hoarse command the trembling waves obey.
Earth shaking, dark-hair'd God,
the liquid plains (the third division) Fate to thee ordains,
'Tis thine, cærulian dæmon, to survey well pleas'd the monsters of the ocean play,
Confirm earth's basis, and with prosp'rous gales waft ships along, and swell the spacious sails;
Add gentle Peace, and fair-hair'd Health beside,
and pour abundance in a blameless tide.

To Poseidon
I begin to sing about Poseidon, the Great God, mover of the earth and fruitless sea,
God of the deep who is also lord of Helicon and wide Aegae.
A two-fold office the gods allotted you, O Shaker of the Earth,
to be a tamer of horses and a saviour of ships!
Hail, Poseidon, Holder of the Earth, dark-haired lord!
O blessed one, be kindly in heart and help those who voyage in ships!

Here is a poem written by Arion, who was rescued by a dolphin. He wrote this in thanks and praise of Neptune:

Highest of the Gods, Lord of the sea,
Poseidon of the golden trident, earth-shaker in the swelling brine, a
round thee the finny monsters (theres) in a ring swim and dance,
with nimble flingings of their feet leaping lightly, snub-nosed hounds with bristling neck, swift runners, music-loving dolphins, sea-nurslings of the Nereis (Nereid) maids divine, whom Amphitrite bore,
even they that carried me, a wanderer on the Sikelian (Sicilian) main, to the headland of Tainarion (Taenarum) in Pelops' land,mounting me upon their humped backs as they clove the furrow of Nereus' plain, a path untrodden, when deceitful men had cast me from their sea-faring hollow ship in to the purple swell of sea.

Finally, a hymn written during the late 1500s or early 1600s by Thomas Campion:

A Hymn in Praise of Neptune

Of Neptune's empire let us sing,
At whose command the waves obey;
To whom the rivers tribute pay,
Down the high mountains sliding:
To whom the scaly nation yields
Homage for the crystal fields
   Wherein they dwell:
And every sea-dog pays a gem
Yearly out of his wat'ry cell
To deck great Neptune's diadem.

The Tritons dancing in a ring
Before his palace gates do make
The water with their echoes quake,
Like the great thunder sounding:
The sea-nymphs chant their accents shrill,
And the sirens, taught to kill
   With their sweet voice,
Make ev'ry echoing rock reply
Unto their gentle murmuring noise
The praise of Neptune's empery.

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