Prayer to Calliope

Descend from heaven, queen Calliope, and come sing with your pipe a lengthened strain;
or, if you had now rather, with your clear voice, or on the harp or lute of Phœbus.
Do ye hear or does a pleasing frenzy delude me?
I seem to hear her, and to wander with her along the hallowed groves, through which pleasant rivulets and gales make their way.
Me, when a child, and fatigued with play, in sleep the woodland doves, famous in story, covered with green leaves in the Apulian Vultur, just without the limits of my native Apulia;
so that it was matter of wonder to all that inhabit the nest of lofty Acherontia, the Bantine Forests, and the rich soil of low Ferentum, how I could sleep with my body safe from deadly vipers and ravenous bears;
how I could be covered with sacred laurel and myrtle heaped together, though a child, not animated without the inspiration of the gods.
Yours, O ye muses, I am yours, whether I am elevated to the Sabine heights;
or whether the cool Præneste, or the sloping Tibur, or the watery Baiæ have delighted me.
Me, who am attached to your fountains and dances, not the army put to flight at Philippi, not the execrable tree, nor a Palinurus in the Sicilian Sea has destroyed.
While you shall be with me with pleasure will I, a sailor, dare the raging Bosphorus;
or, a traveler, the burning sands of the Assyrian shore:
I will visit the Britons inhuman to strangers, and the Concanian delighted with drinking the blood of horses;
I will visit the quivered Geloni, and the Scythian river without hurt.
You entertained lofty Cæsar, seeking to put an end to his toils, in the Pierian grotto, as soon as he had distributed in towns his troops, wearied by campaigning:
you administer to him moderate counsel, and graciously rejoice at it when administered.
We are aware how he, who rules the inactive earth and the stormy main, the cities also, and the dreary realms of hell, and alone governs with a righteous sway both gods and the human multitude, how he took off the impious Titans and the gigantic troop by his falling thunderbolts.
That horrid youth, trusting to the strength of their arms, and the brethren proceeding to place Pelion upon shady Olympus, had brought great dread even upon Jove.
But what could Typhoëus, and the strong Mimas, or what Porphyrion with his menacing statue;
what Rhœtus, and Enceladus, a fierce darter with trees uptorn, avail, though rushing violently against the sounding shield of Pallas?
At one part stood the eager Vulcan, at another the matron Juno, and he, who is never desirous to lay aside his bow from his shoulders, Apollo, the god of Delos and Patara, who bathes his flowing hair in the pure dew of Castalia, and possesses the groves of Lycia and his native wood.
Force, void of conduct, falls by its own weight;
moreover, the gods promote discreet force to further advantage;
but the same beings detest forces, that meditate every kind of impiety.
The hundred-handed Gyges is an evidence of the sentiments I allege:
and Orion, the tempter of the spotless Diana, destroyed by a virgin dart.
The earth, heaped over her own monsters, grieves and laments her offspring, sent to murky Hades by a thunderbolt;
nor does the active fire consume Ætna that is placed over it, nor does the vulture desert the liver of incontinent Tityus, being stationed there as an avenger of his baseness;
and three hundred chains confine the amorous Pirithoüs.