Sing for me, clear-voiced Muse, daughter of great Zeus, the mother of all Gods and all mortals, who is glad in the sound of rattles and drums, and in the noise of flutes, and in the cry of wolves and fiery-eyed lions, and in the echoing hills, and the woodland haunts; even so hail to thee and to Goddesses all in my song.
Of Heracles the son of Zeus will I sing, mightiest of mortals, whom Alcmena bore in Thebes of the fair dancing places, for she had lain in the arms of Cronion, the lord of the dark clouds. Of old the hero wandered endlessly over land and sea, at the bidding of Eurystheus the prince, and himself wrought many deeds of fateful might, and many he endured; but now in the fair haunts of snowy Olympus he dwells in joy, and hath white-ankled Hebe for his wife. Hail prince, son of Zeus, and give to us valour and good fortune.
Of the healer of diseases, Asclepius, I begin to sing, the son of Apollo, whom fair Coronis bore in the Dotian plain, the daughter of King Phlegyas; a great joy to men was her son, and the soother of evil pains. Even so do thou hail, O Prince, I pray to thee in my song.
Of Castor and Polydeuces do thou sing,—shrill Muse, the Tyndaridae, sons of Olympian Zeus, whom Lady Leda bore beneath the crests of Taygetus, having been secretly conquered by the desire of Cronion of the dark clouds. Hail, ye sons of Tyndarus, ye cavaliers of swift steeds.
I sing of Cyllenian Hermes, slayer of Argus, prince of Cyllene and of Arcadia rich in sheep, the boon messenger of the Immortals. Him did Maia bear, the modest daughter of Atlas, to the love of Zeus. The company of the blessed Gods she shunned, and dwelt in a shadowy cave where Cronion was wont to lie with the fair-tressed nymph in the dark of night, while sweet sleep possessed white-armed Hera, and no Immortals knew it, and no deathly men. Hail to thee, thou son of Zeus and Maia, with thee shall I begin and pass on to another song. Hail, Hermes, Giver of grace, thou Guide, thou Giver of good things.
[Pan. With Goat and Shepherd’s Crook. Terra cotta Statuette from Tanagra, in the British Museum: lang230.jpg]