Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
Greece: Helicon, the Mountain
The Muses of Helicon
Hesiod (fl. 8th cent.? B.C.)
(From The Theogony)
Translated by C. A. Elton

BEGIN we from the Muses, O my song!
Muses of Helicon: their dwelling-place
The mountain vast and holy: where around
The altar of high Jove and fountain dark
From azure depth, they lightly leap in dance        5
With delicate feet; and having duly bathed
Their tender bodies in Permessian streams,
In springs that gushed fresh from the courser’s hoof,
Or blest Olmius’ waters, many a time
Upon the topmost ridge of Helicon        10
Their elegant and amorous dances thread,
And smite the earth with strong-rebounding feet.
Thence breaking forth tumultuous, and enwrapt
With the deep mist of air, they onward pass
Nightly, and utter, as they sleep on high,        15
A voice in stilly darkness beautiful.
They hymn the praise of Ægis-wielding Jove,
And Juno, named of Argos, who august
In golden sandals walks; and her, whose eyes
Glitter with azure light, Minerva born        20
From Jove; Apollo, sire of prophecy,
And Dian gladdened by the twanging bow;
Earth-grasping Neptune, shaker of earth’s shores;
Majestic Themis and Dione fair;
And Venus twinkling bland her tremulous lids;        25
Hebe, her brows with golden fillet bound;
Morn, the vast Sun, and the resplendent Moon;
Latona and Japetus; and him
Of crooked wisdom, Saturn; and the Earth;
And the huge Ocean, and the sable Night,        30
And all the sacred race of deities
Existing ever. They to Hesiod erst
Have taught their stately song, the whilst he fed
His lambs beneath the holy Helicon.

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