The Lyre which Hermes fashioned with his skill,
He gave Apollo for to work his will;
He stole the oxen of the Sun by sleight
And robbed him while the earth was cloaked in Night,
And Phoebus’ rage was kindled like a fire,
And so he sought to hurl him in his ire
Into the depths of Tartarus below,
But could not stem the cunning words that flow
From Hermes’ lips, whose speech is without peer,
As he so wills, it is obscure or clear,
And like a labyrinth do they twist and turn:
The cunning only manage to discern
His meaning. Such was Zeus, who can’t be fooled,
Whose strength of mind cannot be overruled.
For Hermes spoke, and winked upon his sire,
Who laughed and loved his begotten liar.
And Hermes played a most enchanting song
And charmed Apollo’s heart with it ere long.
The gods now friends, they each exchanged a gift,
And by this act they healed their former rift.
For Hermes gave his Lyre unto the Sun,
To play each day while his fierce coursers run,
And for the herd with which he did abscond,
Apollo forgave him, and gave him a wand.
And Hermes parted serpents when they fought,
And made a peace where danger had been fraught.
In time, the Sun gave Orpheus the Lyre,
And taught him how to man and beasts inspire;
The poet praised th’eternal gods with song,
But he forgot one god and did him wrong;
For Dionysus did he fail to praise,
And so the Bacchants made an end of days
For him, and torn to pieces did his head
Roll down into the sea when he was dead.
The Muses placed his Lyre up in the sky,
That memory of him might never die.


Boötes, farmer, driver of the ox,
Who tilled the Earth instead of keeping flocks;
He was Demeter’s child, a demigod,
But mortals raised him to work and till the sod,
To turn a field of wild grass into such
As would when planted with wheat bring forth much.
But not Boötes only Demeter had,
For she bore twins and birthed another lad;
These two, they worked a farm, and then they went
To hunt and fish each day till they were spent.
Now, Plutus was Boötes’ brother’s name,
He had great wealth, but would not share the same;
And so Boötes tilled the land to feed
Himself; in season planted he the seed;
And though each year, it sprang forth and grew,
The work was heavy and exhausting too:
But then Boötes’ ingenuity,
Devised a way that with facility
The work could be performed; with a device
But little labour from him would then suffice:
This thing was called the plow, and bread was earned
When oxen were yoked, and the land was turned.
Demeter learned of this deed of her son,
Of the fame among men that he had won;
And so she stretched her hand down from on high,
And plucked her son and placed him in the sky.
A constellation, he now hunts the Bear,
Pursuing it all year, through the nightly air;
When he has struck Ursula, in the fall,
When Persephone first hears Hades’ call,
Then turn the leaves of trees to red with blood,
Which fall from Ursula as a gory flood:
But when in spring the Bear rises again,
Boötes chases him across heaven’s main;
Demeter’s son enjoys his greatest love,
To hunt a starry foe in the dome above.