Prayer to the Muse of Lyrical Poetry

Melpomene, Muse, one whom you have looked on with favorable eyes at his birth Ismian toil will never grant fame as a boxer: while no straining horses will draw him along, triumphant in a Greek chariot, nor will his acts of war show him to the high Capitol, wreathed with the Delian laurel crown, who’s crushed the bloated menaces of kings: but the waters that run beneath fertile Tibur, and the thick leafage of the groves, will make him of note in Aeolian song. It’s thought that I’m worthy by Rome’s children, the first of cities, to rank there among the choir of delightful poets, and already envy’s teeth savage me less. O Pierian girl, you who command the golden tortoise shell’s sweet melodies, O you, who could, if you wished, lend a swan’s singing, too, to the silent fishes, all of this is a gift of yours: that I’m pointed out by the passer-by as one who’s a poet of the Roman lyre: that I’m inspired, and please as I please: is yours.