Hesiod, Theogony 22-34

How to quote this translation

M = reading of the whole MS tradition
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus
αἵ νύ ποθ’ Ἡσίοδον καλὴν ἐδίδαξεν ἀοιδήν, 22
ἄρνας ποιμαίνονθ’ Ἑλικῶνος ὕπο ζαθέοιο.
τόνδε δέ με πρώτιστα θεαὶ πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπον,
Μοῦσαι Ὀλυμπιάδες, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο· 25
 “ποιμένες ἄγραυλοι, κάκ’ ἐλέγχεα, γαστέρες οἶον,
ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα,
ἴδμεν δ’ εὖτ’ ἐθέλωμεν ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι γηρύσασθαι m, P: μυθήσασθαι m.”
ὣς ἔφασαν κοῦραι μεγάλου Διὸς ἀρτιέπειαι,
καί μοι σκῆπτρον ἔδον, δάφνης ἐριθηλέος ὄζον 30
δρέψασαι δρέψασαι m: δρέψασθαι m, Aristid., θηητόν· ἐνέπνευσαν δέ μοι αὐδὴν
θέσπιν θέσπιν Goettling: θείην m: θεσπεσίην Aristid.: Θεσπέσιον Lucian, ἵνα κλέοιμι τά τ’ ἐσσόμενα πρό τ’ ἐόντα,
καί μ’ ἐκέλονθ’ ὑμνεῖν μακάρων γένος αἰὲν ἐόντων,
σφᾶς δ’ αὐτὰς πρῶτόν τε καὶ ὕστατον αἰὲν ἀείδειν.

They once taught Hesiod lovely song, when he was shepherding his lambs below holy Helicon. This, first of all, the goddesses said to me, the Olympian Muses, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus: ‘Shepherds who dwell in the fields, base objects of disgrace, mere bellies, we know how to tell many lies that resemble the truth, and we know, when we will it, how to speak true things.’ Thus spoke the daughters of mighty Zeus, ready of speech, and they gave me a staff, a bough of luxuriant laurel, plucking it, a marvel; and they breathed into me divine speech, so that I would celebrate things to come and things already past, and they bid me hymn the race of blessed gods, who are eternal, but always to sing of themselves first and last.

Relevant guides Hesiod, Hesiod: A Guide to Ancient Representations