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But when the months and days were fulfilled [350] and the seasons duly came on as the earth moved round, she bare one neither like the gods nor mortal men, fell, cruel Typhaon, to be a plague to men. Straightway large-eyed queenly Hera took him and bringing one evil thing to another such, gave him to the dragoness; and she received him. [355] And this Typhaon used to work great mischief among the famous tribes of men. Whosoever met the dragoness, the day of doom would sweep him away, until the lord Apollo, who deals death from afar, shot a strong arrow at her. Then she, rent with bitter pangs, lay drawing great gasps for breath and rolling about that place. [360] An awful noise swelled up unspeakable as she writhed continually this way and that amid the wood: and so she left her life, breathing it forth in blood. Then Phoebus Apollo boasted over her:

“Now rot here upon the soil that feeds man' You at least shall live no more to be a fell bane to men [365] who eat the fruit of the all-nourishing earth, and who will bring hither perfect hecatombs. Against cruel death neither Typhoeus shall avail you nor ill-famed Chimera, but here shall the Earth and shining Hyperion make you rot.”

[370] Thus said Phoebus, exulting over her: and darkness covered her eyes. And the holy strength of Helios made her rot away there; wherefore the place is now called Pytho, and men call the lord Apollo by another name, Pythian; because on that spot the power of piercing Helios made the monster rot away.

[375] Then Phoebus Apollo saw that the sweet-flowing spring had beguiled him, and he started out in anger against Telphusa; and soon coming to her, he stood close by and spoke to her:

“Telphusa, you were not, after all, to keep to yourself this lovely place by deceiving my mind, [380] and pour forth your clear flowing water: here my renown shall also be and not yours alone?”

Thus spoke the lord, far-working Apollo, and pushed over upon her a crag with a shower of rocks, hiding her streams: and he made himself an altar in a wooded grove [385] very near the clear-flowing stream. In that place all men pray to the great one by the name Telphusian, because he humbled the stream of holy Telphusa.

Then Phoebus Apollo pondered in his heart what men he should bring in [390] to be his ministers in sacrifice and to serve him in rocky Pytho. And while he considered this, he became aware of a swift ship upon the wine-like sea in which were many men and goodly, Cretans from Cnossos,1 the city of Minos, they who do sacrifice to the prince and announce his decrees, [395] whatsoever Phoebus Apollo, bearer of the golden blade, speaks in answer from his laurel tree below the dells of Parnassus.

1 Inscriptions show that there was a temple of Apollo Delphinius (cp. ll. 495-6) at Cnossus and a Cretan month bearing the same name.

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    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO HERMES
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