"The Muses' Friend"

(Horace, Odes I.26)

translated by Peter Saint-Andre

I am the Muses' friend: I consign all grief
And fear to the violent winds of the Cretan sea,
Utterly untroubled by whatever threats beset
   Some exiled tyrant,

By whatever king is feared in the far icy north.
O sweet muse, you who delights in the purest of springs,
Bind together these sun-filled flowers: weave a crown
   For my Lamia.

Without you, O muse, all praise of me is nothing:
So it's all fitting that you and your sisters
Should consecrate it with these fresh strings and a
   Plectrum from Lesbos.


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