Those holy Muses taught Hesiod beautiful songs
when he shepherded sheep under holy Helicon.
They spoke to me first of stories, those Olympian Muses did,
those daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus: ‘You who dwell in the fields,
base reproaches on your name, for you are only bellies:
We know how to speak lies in place of truth;
and we are the one who proclaim truth whenever we wish.’
So spoke the silver-tongued muses, daughters of great Zeus,
as they gave to me a staff, made from a bough
of prosperous laurel, a veritable wonder;
and into me they breathed divinely inspired song,
so that I might glorify the things that are to come
and the things that have already passed.
They ordered me to praise with hymns the blessed race
that lives undying, always and forever, and to sing
of them only, at the beginning and in the end.