To the Muses

I praise the fair Muses, daughters of thundering Zeus
and mindful Mnemnosyne. All things do you know,
all things do you remember, all things do you understand.
In long-ago Thrace, on mountains and in grottos,
you received offerings of milk and honey.
All of art is yours, gracious ones, the words of the poet,
the stroke of the brush, the song of the siren,
the throb of the drum. Far from the well have you wandered,
goddesses, the world is your canvas, the heart of
the artist your paintbox. With shining Apollo
you guide the craft of the seer, the player, the bard;
with ivy-bearing Dionysos you play
in grassy fields, wreathed in wildflowers. Goddesses,
you dance arm in arm, lively of step, free of care;
you join in sweet song, your silvery voices
ringing true, bringing joy to all who hear.
Praiseworthy ones whose touch the artist craves,
whose gifts bring comfort to all who heed your call,
your blessings fall on those who bring into being
the songs and tales that preserve soul and spirit,
that hearten and inspire. Clever ones, I honor you.

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