Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/157

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human sorrows. As in the Mongolian myth of Arakho, the sun "sees all and hears all," and, less honourable than the Mongolian sun, he plays the spy for Hephæstus on the loves of Ares and Aphrodite. He has mistresses and human children, such as Circe and Æetes.[1]

The sun is all-seeing and all-penetrating. In a Greek song of to-day a mother sends a message to an absent daughter by the sun; it is but an unconscious repetition of the request of the dying Ajax; that the heavenly body will tell his fate to his old father and his sorrowing spouse.[2]

Selene, the moon, like Helios, the sun, was a person, and amorous. Beloved by Zeus, she gave birth to Pandia, and Pan gained her affection by the simple rustic gift of a fleece.[3] The Australian Dawn, with her present of a red kangaroo skin, was not more lightly won than the chaste Selene. Her affection for Endymion is well known, and her cold white glance shines through the crevices of his mountain grave, hewn in a rocky wall, like the tombs of Phrygia.[4] She is the sister of the sun in Hesiod, the daughter (by his sister) of Hyperion in the Homeric hymns to Helios.

In Greece the aspects of sun and moon take the most ideal human forms, and show themselves in the most gracious myths. But, after all, these retain in their anthropomorphism the marks of the earliest fancy, the fancy of Eskimo and Australians.

  1. See chapter on Greek Divine Myths.
  2. Sophocles, Ajax, 846.
  3. Virgil, Georgics, iii. 391.
  4. Preller, Griech. Myth., i. 163.