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All night we watched, till with her orient wheels
And from the lofty brow of rocks by day
Soon as Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
Pallas backward held the rising day,
Whose flaming steeds, emerging through the night,
Minerva rushes through th' aërial way,
HEBE was a daughter of Jupiter and Juno; excessively fair, and endowed with perpetual youth. To her was assigned by Juno the office of serving nectar to the gods, but incurring the anger of Jupiter, he displaced her, and substituted his favourite, Ganymede, in her room.
After the apotheosis of Hercules, he married Hebe, and was by her means reconciled to Juno, whom he had offended. Hebe is generally represented by the poets as a beautiful virgin, arrayed in a variegated garb, crowned with flowers: she was in constant attendance on her mother, who delegated to her the charge of her chariot, and the guidance of her famous peacocks. Hebe was worshipped at Sicyon, under the appellation Dia, and was known at Rome as Juventas, or the goddess of youth.
And now Olympus' shining gates unfold;
The gods with Jove, assume their thrones of gold.
The golden goblet crowns with purple wine:
Iliad, book 4.
Homer again introduces Hebe, preparing the chariot for Juno, when she descended with Minerva to aid the Greeks.
She spoke Minerva burns to meet the war;
On the bright axle turns the bidden wheel
Such as the heavens produce; and round the gold
The coursers joins, and breathes revenge and war.
Ibid, book 5.
THETIS the daughter of Nereus and Doris, was one of the sea deities. Jupiter and Neptune solicited her in marriage; but upon being informed of the prophecy that the son of Thetis should be greater than his father, they resigned the nymph to Peleus, who, contrary to her inclination, espoused her, all the gods and goddesses being present on Mount Pelion, where the nuptials were celebrated with great magnificence. Discordia alone was omitted; and, incensed at the apparent negligence
of Peleus, she threw into the midst of the assembled deities a golden apple, with the inscription "To the fairest." Juno, Minerva, and Venus, each claimed it as her own; and the gods, unwilling to interfere in so delicate an affair, deputed Paris to decide the contest. He adjudged the meed of beauty to Venus, and in consequence drew upon himself the dislike of the rival goddesses: a long series of disturbances followed this trivial occurrence, and in the Trojan war, which ensued, Discordia had ample opportunities of satisfying her malevolent desires.
Thetis was the mother of the famous Achilles, and foreseeing the fate of her son, she endeavoured to prevent his joining the Greeks in their expedition against Troy, by placing him in the court of Lycomedas; but her precautions were unavailing ; Achilles could not be controlled; and, although clad in the armour of proof made by Vulcan, fell by the hand of Paris. At his death Thetis issued from the sea, and attended by her sisters, the Nereides, collected his ashes, placed them in a golden urn, and erected a monument to his memory. Festivals were afterwards instituted to his honour.
Homer draws a beautiful picture of Thetis, sorrowing for the approaching death of her son, which it had been foretold should happen shortly after the decease of his celebrated antagonist, Hector.
Thetis sorrowed in her sacred cave: There, placed amidst her melancholy train, (The blue haired sisters of the sacred main,) Pensive she sat, revolving fates to come, And wept her god-like son's approaching doom. Then thus the goddess of the painted bow: "Arise, oh Thetis! from thy seats below;
'Tis Jove that calls." "And why (the dame replies)
Sad object as I am for heavenly sight!
Then through the world of waters they repair
The deeps dividing, o'er the coast they rise,
Iliad, book 24.