Tuesday, October 8, 2013


These Muses once taught beautiful singing to Hesiod as he was pasturing his lambs at the foot of holy Helicon.  The goddesses first addressed me with these words:  “Shepherds whose home is in the wilds, you miserable disgraces to your trade, all belly and no hands, we know how to tell many falsehoods that seem real:  but we also know how to speak truth when we wish to.” 

This is what the eloquent daughters of mighty Zeus said; they also gave me a staff, a branch of evergreen laurel which they trimmed with marvelous skill.  They breathed into me their divine voice, so that I might tell of things to come and things past, and ordered me to sing of the race of the blessed gods who live forever, and always to place the Muses themselves both at the beginning and at the end of my song.   

But enough of this gossiping. 

Hesiod, Theogony (I), trans. Norman O . Brown, The Library of the Liberal Arts, 1953

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