Hymn to Ceres, Goddess of Grain
Hail O Ceres, goddess of waving grain,
who causes the seed to break and spring forth,
while some few nights of winter yet remain,
and blustery winds still gale from the north.
Honor to you, who fills our mouths with bread,
who fills the bowls of the hungry with rice,
and who puts oats and hay in the stable.
You ranged when your daughter went to the dead,
and you would not restore at any price
spring to the Earth, nor bread to the table,
Except if Persephone come to life
to dance upon frozen and barren ground.
So Pluto released her, and your bleak grief
turned to laughing abundance all around.
Even now in winter, you rail and weep,
and keep grain from rising from frozen sod.
Your joy causes Creation to flower,
and from black mud, new grain appears to leap
when she rises from the caves of the god,
lending youthful vigor to your power.
O Lady, enrich our gardens and fields;
lend urgency and vigor to soil.
Encourage our bees and enlarge our yields,
and strengthen our limbs in honest toil,
picking stones from ground we intend to farm,
and learning good uses for weeds and herbs,
which sprout from seed unlooked for in black earth.
Make green our gardens: keep them safe from harm,
and speak to our plants kindly growing words,
as when you danced at your daughter’s rebirth.