Everyone wants some awkward Greek translation, right? Right!


(1) Let me begin to sing of the Heliconian Muses, who go along the great and holy mountain of Helicon, and dance with their feet around all sides of the violet spring and the altar of the powerful son of Kronos; and having bathed their soft skins in the spring of Permessius or Hippus or holy Olmeius, they make dances upon the Heliconian height, beautiful charming [dances], and they move nimbly with their feet.

(9) From there, having risen up, covered with much air, they walk at night, sending out a very beautiful voice, singing hymns to aegis-bearing Zeus and lady Hera of Argos (who walks on golden sandals), and the gray-eyed daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, Athena, and Phoebus Apollo and Artemis the arrow-shooter and Poseidon the earth-holding earth-shaker and holy Themis with quick-glancing eyes and Aphrodite and gold-crowned Hebe and lovely Dione and Leto and Iapetus and, lo, Kronos of the crooked counsel, and Eo and the great Helios and bright Selene and Gaia and great Oceanus and dark Nyx and the holy line of other always-existing immortals.

(22) Now at some point they have given Hesiod a beautiful song, as he was herding sheep on holy Helicon. The goddesses first spoke the following to me with a speech, the Olympian Muses, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus:

(26) "Field-dwelling shepherds, miserable disgraces, nothing but bellies, we know many lies to speak similar to truths, and we know when we are willing to sing true things."

(29) So spoke the swift-footed daughters of great Zeus, and they gave me as a scepter a branch of flourishing laurel they had plucked, a wondrous thing; and they breathed an inspired song into me, so that I might praise the things that will be and the things that happened before, and they commanded me to make hymns of the lineage of the blessed ones who always exist, and to begin with them themselves and afterwards to [sing] praise forever.

(35) But why are these things about a tree or about a rock [of interest] to me? I will begin with you, the Muses, the ones who by singing hymns delight the great mind of your father Zeus on Olympus, speaking about the things that are and the the that will be and the things that happened before, harmonizing with their sound, and their pleasant untiring sound flows from their mouths; and the house of their father loud-thundering Zeus laughs with the goddesses' lily-like [voice] as it's scattered, and it goes to the head of showy Olympus and the home of the immortals; and as they emit an immortal voice they first praise the revered lineage of the gods with a song from the beginning, [the gods] whom Gaia and wide Oceanus begat, and who were created from them, the gods who give good things; and second [they praise] Zeus the father of gods and of men, [and beginning the goddesses praise with hymns and speak in song,] so great as the bravest of gods and the greatest in strength; and then, as they sing hymns of the lineage of men and the mighty giants, they delight the mind of Zeus on Olympus, the Olympic Muses, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus.

(53) Mnemosyne, the ruler of the hills of Eleuther, having mixed with their father the son of Kronos on Pieria, bore them as forgetfulness for bad things and repose from troubles.

(56) For she mixed on nine nights with counselor Zeus, far away from the immortals, having climbed up into the holy bed; but when a year had passed, and the seasons had perished in their months, then the days were brought around, and she bore nine girls, similar in mind, who were given care of song in their chests, [as they] had sorrowless hearts, a little ways from the highest peak of snowy Olympus; and in that place are glistening dances and beautiful homes for them, and beside them the Graces and Himeros have homes in festivities; and emitting a lovely voice through their mouths, they sing and dance, and they praise the laws and thoughtful customs of all the immortals, emitting a lovely sound.

(68) Then they go towards Olympus, paying honor [to the gods] with a beautiful voice, with a lovely dance; and the black earth resounds with their hymning, and a lovely pounding under their feet rises up as they return toward their father; and he rules as king in the sky, he himself holding thunder and scorched lightning, who is strong having conquered his father Kronos; and he appoints well the laws to the immortals in order and gives out the honors [to them].

(75) And the Muses sing, having these Olympian homes, nine daughters born of great Zeus, Cleo and Euterpe and Thaleia and Melpomene and Terpsichore and Erato and Polymnia and Ouranie and Calliope; and she is outstanding of all of them.

(80) For she also attends to revered kings. Whomever of god-fostered kings the daughters of great Zeus honor and look at when he's born, they pour sweet dew on his tongue, and a honeyed word flows from his mouth; and all the men see him making discerning laws with straight justice; and he stops some large quarrel with steadfastness, speed, and skill; and it's for that reason that kings are sensible, on account of which in the assembly he easily ends vengeful deeds on men being harmed, speaking gently with soft words; and when he goes up into the assembly, they appease him like a god with gentle reverence, and he is conspicuous among those gathered.

(93) This is the holy gift of the Muses to humans. For from the Muses and far-shooting Apollo revered men and cithara-players come to be on the earth, and from Zeus, kings; and he is happy, whomever the Muses love; sweet voice flows from his mouth.

(98) For even if someone holding sorrow in a newly-grieved chest dries up their heart with grieving, but a singer who is servant to the Muses sings the glory of the men of yore and the blessed gods who hold Olympus, he will immediately forget his miseries and not remember any of his anxieties; and the gifts of the gods turn [him] aside swiftly.

(104) Goodbye, children of Zeus, and give [me] a lovely song: and glorify the holy lineage of the immortals who always exist, the ones born of Gaia and starry Ouranos and of dark Night, and whom salty Oceanus nurtured.

(108) And speak of how in the beginning the gods and earth came to be, and the rivers and boundless ocean (inspired in its swell) and the shining stars and the broad sky above; [and they came from these, the gods, givers of good things;] and how they give wealth and divide up honors, and also how they first took hold of many-valleyed Olympus.

(114) These things the Muses told me, who have held Olympian homes from the beginning, and they said how it happened from these first things.

(116) Now first of all Chaos came to be; but next wide-chested Gaia [came to be], the unshakeable seat of all the ever-immortals who hold the peak of snowy Olympus, and murky Tartarus in the innermost part of the broad-wayed earth, and Eros, who is the most beautiful among the immortal gods, the limb-relaxer, and in chests he overcomes the mind and the thoughtful willpower of all the gods and all men.

(123) From Chaos and Erebus, black Nyx was born; and then from Nyx, Aither and Hemera came forth, whom she bore, having conceived by mixing with Erebus in love.

(126) And Gaia was first bore star-bearing Ouranos, equal to her, so that he might cover her all around, in order that there would always be an unshakeable seat for the blessed gods, and she bore high mountains, the divine graceful dwellings of the Nymphs, who make their homes wandering up the mountains, and she also bore the barren sea (inspired in its swell), Pontus, without delightful love; but then, having bedded Ouranus, she bore deep-eddying Oceanus and Koios and Kreios and Hyperion and Iapetus and Theias and Reias and Themis and Mnemosune and gold-crowned Phoebe and charming Tethys.

(137) And after them Kronos, the youngest, the crooked counselor, was born, the most terrible of the children, and he hated his sturdy father.

(139) And then she bore the Cyclopses, who had an arrogant heart, Brontes and Steropes and also strong-spirited Arges, who gave thunder to Zeus and crafted the lightning.

(142) And they surely resembled the other gods, but a single eye was in the center of [each of their] forehead[s]; and they were tagged with the name 'Cyclopes' on account of their cycle-like eye being in the forehead; and strength and force and mechanics were in their works.

(147) And three other great and violent children were produced from Gaia and Ouranos, not to be named, Koptos and Briareos and Gyges, arrogant children.

(150) And their 100 hands turned quickly from their shoulders, unshaped [hands], and 50 heads for each sprouted up from their shoulders on sturdy limbs; and the mighty strength on their great form[s] was strong.

(154) For however many of them were born from Gaia and Ouranos, the most terrible of the children, they were hated by their own father from the start; and as soon as one of them was born in any way, he hid them all away in the innermost part of Gaia and did not send them out into the light, and he rejoiced in the terrible deed, Ouranos [did]; and huge Gaia, she groaned, crowded inside, and she devised a wicked crafty plan.

(161) She promptly made a creation of gray adamant, and fashioned a large sickle and showed it to her dear children; and she spoke encouragingly, while grieved in her dear heart:

(164) "My children of a reckless father, if you should wish to obey me--would that I might repay the wicked outrage of your father!--for he contrived shameful deeds."

(167) So she spoke; but fear seized them all, and not a one of them made a sound. But great Kronos, the crooked counselor, was brave, and promptly addressed his careful mother with words:

(170) "Mother, I would take up this [sickle] and perform the deed, since I do not care for our hated father; for he contrived shameful deeds before [you did]."

(173) So he spoke; and great broad Gaia rejoiced in her chest; and she set him in an ambush by hiding him, and setting the saw-toothed hook in his hands, and she set up the whole scheme.

(176) And great Ouranos came, leading night, and desiring Earth with love he came upon her on all sides, and he was stretched out over all of her; and the child reached out from the ambush with his left hand, and with his right he held the mighty hook, jagged with long teeth, and he rapidly reaped off the genitals of his dear father, and hurled them back to be carried backwards.

(182) But these things did not fly from his hand fruitlessly; for however many bleeding drops fled [the genitals], Gaia received them all; and when the years had revolved, the strong Erinyes and great Giants came to be, famous for their tools, holding long spears in their hands, and the Nymphs called the Melians, on the boundless earth.

(187) And when the genitals, cut off by adamantine, were first thrown down from the mainland into the stormy sea, as the sea carried [them] for much time, all around a white foam was stirred up from the immortal skin; and in it a maiden was nurtured; she first approached holy Cytherea, then from there she came to sea-girt Cyprus.

(194) And the holy beautiful goddess walked out [of the ocean], and grass grew up all around her slender feet; both gods and men call [her] 'the foam-born goddess' and 'the well-crowned Cytherean': [the first] because she was nurtured in foam, but 'Cytherean' because she arrived at Cytherea; and 'Cyprus-born', because she was born in sea-girt Cyprus; and 'smile-loving' because she was brought to light from the genitals.

(201) And Eros accompanied her, and beautiful Himeros followed her, as soon as she was born and entered the tribe of the gods; and she holds this honor from the beginning and she chose this share by lot among the men and immortal gods: maidenly conversations and smiles and lies and sweet delight and honeyed love.
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