Hail Kleio, clever daughter of scheming Zeus
of many guises, and golden Mnemosyne
who preserves all; you are studious, disciplined,
and keen-eyed, missing little that transpires
either among the Fortunate Ones on Mount Olympos
or mortal men who are here for but a moment
and then gone, like the wheat in the fields
or like the soft, delicate, brightly hued
flowers beloved by your son Hyakinthos.
You can follow the threads of the Moirai
back to the hatching of the Primordial Egg
and forward until everything finally
condenses back into it. You watch as
primitive settlements along a winding river
morph into great cities and thence
only to fall to marauding outsiders
or creeping decay from within;
how many magnificent men
have you seen forged in adversity
until they rise up and claim glory and power for themselves,
only to be destroyed by their spear-won prize?
Scientists, scholars, philosophers, poets, artists, dancers and musicians
by the score have you known, and humble men ignored by their fellows
have not escaped your unwavering vision, Kleio – each one
you remember, and record his story for posterity.
Oh, you who are skilled at the lyre,
please hear my prayer Muse, and smile on me
as I seek to do honor to those who have come before.