Bki:X To Mercury
Mercury, eloquent grandson of Atlas,
I’ll sing of you, who wise with your training, shaped
the uncivilised ways of our new-born race,
with language, and grace
in the ways of wrestling, you the messenger
of Jove and the gods, and the curved lyre’s father,
skilful in hiding whatever pleases you,
with playful deceit.
While he tried to scare you, with his threatening voice,
unless you returned the cattle you’d stolen,
and so craftily, Apollo was laughing
missing his quiver.
And indeed, with your guidance, Priam carrying
rich gifts left Troy, escaped the proud Atridae,
Thessalian fires, and the menacing camp
You bring virtuous souls to the happy shores,
controlling the bodiless crowds with your wand
of gold, pleasing to the gods of the heavens
and the gods below.