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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

By 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

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

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,

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

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;

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,

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.