|Greek and Roman Mythology > Leucothea dnd Palaemon
Leucothea dnd Palaemon
frantic husband, with her little son Melicertes in her arms,
sprang from a cliff into the sea. The gods, out of compassion,
made her a goddess of the sea, under the name of Leucothea, and
him a god under that of Palaemon. Both were held powerful to
save from shipwreck, and were invoked by sailors. Palaemon was
usually represented riding on a dolphin. The Isthmian games were
celebrated in his honor. He was called Portumnus by the Romans,
and believed to have jurisdiction of the ports and shores.
Milton alludes to all these deities in the song at the conclusion
Listen and appear to us,
In name of great Oceanus;
By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys' grave, majestic pace,
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wizard's hook (Proteus)
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old soothsaying Glaucus; spell,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son who rules the strands,
By Thetis' tinsel-slippered feet,
And the songs of Sirens sweet."
Armstrong, the poet of the Art of preserving Health, under the
inspiration of Hygeia, the goddess of health, thus celebrates the
Naiads. Paeon is a name both of Apollo and Aesculapius.
"Come, ye Naiads! To the fountains lead!
Propitious maids! The task remains to sing
Your gifts (so Paeon, so the powers of health
Command), to praise your crystal element.
Oh, comfortable streams! With eager lips
And trembling hands the languid thirsty quaff
New life in you; fresh vigor fills their veins.
No warmer cups the rural ages knew,
None warmer sought the sires of humankind;
Happy in temperate peace their equal days
Felt not the alternate fits of feverish mirth
And sick dejection; still serene and pleased,
Blessed with divine immunity from ills,
Long centuries they lived; their only fate
Was ripe old age, and rather sleep than death."