Hie Favor of the Muse

Horace Odes 4.3

[The one] whom you, Melpomene, have once looked upon with a kindly eye at his birth (lit., being born), toil in the Isthmian games will not make [him] famous [as] a boxer, nor will a swift horse bring [him in as] winner with a Greek chariot, nor will the business of war display [him] to the Capitol [as] a leader decorated with Delian leaves because he has crushed the haughty threats of kings; but the waters that flow past the fertile Tibur and the dense leaves of forests will make him famous in Aeolian song.

The offspring of Rome, chief of cities, thinks fit to place me among the pleasing choirs of poets, and now I am bitten less by envious tooth. O Pierian [woman] (i.e., Muse), who modulate the sweet sound of the golden lyre, O [you] who would give (lit., going to give) the sound of a swan to dumb fishes if you pleased, all this is your gift, [namely, the fact] that I am pointed out by the finger of passers-by [as] the player of the Roman lyre; [the fact] that I breathe and give pleasure, if I do give pleasure, is due to you (lit., is yours).

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