To the Muses

3 07 2009

Daughters of Jove, dire-sounding and divine,
Renown’d Pierian, sweetly speaking Nine;
To those whose breasts your sacred furies fire
Much-form’d, the objects of supreme desire:
Sources of blameless virtue to mankind,
Who form to excellence the youthful mind;
Who nurse the soul, and give her to descry
The paths of right with Reason’s steady eye.
Commanding queens who lead to sacred light
The intellect refin’d from Error’s night;
And to mankind each holy rite disclose,
For mystic knowledge from your nature flows.
Clio, and Erato, who charms the sight,
With thee Euterpe minist’ring delight:
Thalia flourishing, Polymina fam’d,
Melpomene from skill in music nam’d:
Terpischore, Urania heav’nly bright,
With thee who gav’st me to behold the light.
Come, venerable, various, pow’rs divine,
With fav’ring aspect on your mystics shine;
Bring glorious, ardent, lovely, fam’d desire,
And warm my bosom with your sacred fire.

-Translated by Thomas Taylor


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