"The Muses' Friend"

(Horace, Odes I.26)

translated by Peter Saint-Andre

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

By kings who are feared in the far icy north.
O sweet muse, who delights in the purest springs,
Come bind these sun-filled flowers and weave a crown
   For my Lamia.

Without you, 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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