Before the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The sun is about to rise. Hermes enters.
Atlas, who wears away heaven, the ancient home of the gods, on his bronze shoulders, was the father of Maia by a goddess; she bore me, Hermes, to great Zeus; and I am the gods' servant.
I have come to Delphi, this land where Phoebus from his central throne chants to mortals, always declaring the present and the future.
For Hellas has a famous city, which received its name from Pallas of the golden lance;
here Apollo forced a union on Creusa, the child of Erechtheus, where the rocks, turned to the north beneath the hill of Pallas' Athenian land, are called Macrai by the lords of Attica. Unknown to her father —such was the pleasure of the god—
she bore the weight in her womb. When the time came, Creusa gave birth in the house to a child, and brought the infant to the same cave where the god had bedded her, and there exposed him to die in the round circle of a hollow cradle,
observant of the customs of her ancestors, and of Erichthonius, the earth-born. For the daughter of Zeus set beside him two serpents to guard his body, and gave him in charge to the daughters of Aglauros;
from which the Erechthidae have a custom to rear their children in gold serpents. Ornaments which the girl had she hung around her son, and left him to die. And Phoebus, as my brother, asked me this: “O brother, go to the native-born people
of glorious Athens, for you know the city of the goddess; take the new-born baby from the hollow rock, with his cradle and baby-clothes; bring him to my shrine at Delphi, and place him at the very entrance of my temple;
The rest—know that the child is mine—will be my care.” To gratify my brother Loxias I took up the woven basket and brought it here, and placed the boy at the base of this temple,
opening up the wreathed cradle, so that the infant might be seen.