The story of the goddess Persephone (Proserpina in Latin), tells us about the cyclical change of seasons through a myth. She was abducted by Hades to be his bride in the underworld. Her heartbroken mother Demeter begs to Zeus (Jupiter) for her daughter back. Zeus solves the issue by promising that Hades could have Persephone one half of the year, and the other half she could spend with her mother. When springtime comes, Persephone returns from the underworld to bring light and prosperity once again.

The Fate of Persephone by Walter Crane (1845-1915)

Ovid, Metamorphoses 5.564-571

Below are the last eight lines of the story as told by the Roman poet Ovid in his masterpiece Metamorphoses.

At medius fratrisque sui maestaeque sororis
Iuppiter ex aequo volventem dividit annum.
Nunc dea, regnorum numen commune duorum,
cum matre est totidem, totidem cum coniuge menses.
Vertitur extemplo facies et mentis et oris:
nam modo quae poterat Diti quoque maesta videri,
laeta deae frons est, ut sol, qui tectus aquosis
nubibus ante fuit, victis e nubibus exit.


But between his brother and  sorrowful sister
Jupiter splits the revolving year down the middle.
Now the goddess [Pesephone], as deity to two kingdoms,
is with her mother for just as many months as with her husband.
Her appearance changed immediately, both mind and face:
for the goddess who once was seen as sorrowful by Hades,
now has a happy smile; like the sun breaks through the mist,
after it was covered by rainy clouds.

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