Epigram 9.505

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On The Muses

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οὐκ ἴδε Τερψιχόρην ὁ ζωγράφος, ἀλλ᾽ ὑπὸ τέχνας
ψεύδεται ὀφθαλμοὺς δείκελον ἀτρεκίῃ.
εἴ ποτε τερψινόοιο, φίλος, φόρμιγγος ἀκούσῃς,
τὴν Ἐρατὼ θαύμαζε τόσης εἰδήμονα τέχνης.

Εὐτέρπη δονάκεσσι πολυτρήτοισι λιγαίνει,
πνεῦμα σοφῆς ὀχετηγὸν ἐπισπείρουσα μελίσσης.

κωμικὸν ἀμφιέπω Θάλεια μέλος, ἔργα δὲ φωτῶν
οὐχ ὁσίων θυμέλῃσι φιλοκροτάλοισιν ἀθύρω.
εἰκόνα σῆς σοφίης ποτιδέρκεο: Καλλιόπης γὰρ

εἰκόνα σῇ κραδίῃ λάμβανε τὴν σοφίην.
Δαφνοκόμοις Φοίβοιο παρὰ τριπόδεσσι πολεύω
Κλειώ, μαντοσύνης Μοῦσα καὶ ἱστορίης.
Οὐρανίη ψήφοιο θεορρήτῳ τινὶ μέτρῳ
ἀστρῴην ἐδίδαξα παλινδίνητον ἀνάγκην.

σκέπτεο χαλκεόφωνον ἐπισπέρχουσαν ἀοιδὴν
Μελπομένην, ἐρατῆς ἵστορα εὐεπίης.
σιγῶ, φθεγγομένη παλάμης θελξίφρονα παλμόν,
νεύματι φωνήεσσαν ἀπαγγέλλουσα σιωπήν.

— Paton edition

The painter never saw Terpsichore, but owing to
his art the image deceives our eyes by its truth.

If, my friend, you ever hear the lyre that cheers
the heart, admire Erato, who possesses such skill.

Euterpe shrills on perforated reeds, scattering on
them and forcing through them the spirit of
the skilled bee.

I, Thalia, am concerned with comic verse, and I
present in play, on the scene that loves the casta-
nets, the actions of immoral people.

Look on the image of thy wisdom ; for thy heart
should conceive Calliope's image to be wisdom.

I, Clio, dwell by the laurelled tripods of Phoebus,
the Muse of prophecy and history.

I, Urania, through calculations revealed by God,
teach the recurring necessity of the stars' motions.

Look on Melpomene, skilled in lovely eloquence,
giving force to brazen-voiced epic song.

I, Polymnia, am silent, but speak through the
entrancing motions of my hands, conveying by my
gestures a speaking silence.¹

— Paton edition

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