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So saying, Apollo twisted strong withes with his hands [409a] meaning to bind Hermes with firm bands; [409b] but the bands would not hold him, and the withes of osier fell far from him [410] and began to grow at once from the ground beneath their feet in that very place. And intertwining with one another, they quickly grew and covered all the wild-roving cattle by the will of thievish Hermes, so that Apollo was astonished as he gazed.

Then the strong slayer of Argus [415] looked furtively upon the ground with eyes flashing fire ...

desiring to hide ...

Very easily he softened the son of all-glorious Leto as he would, stern though the Far-shooter was. He took the lyre upon his left arm and tried each string in turn with the key, so that at his touch [420] it sounded awesomely. And Phoebus Apollo laughed for joy; for the sweet throb of the marvellous music went to his heart, and a soft longing took hold on his soul as he listened. Then the son of Maia, harping sweetly upon his lyre, took courage and stood at the left hand [425] of Phoebus Apollo; and soon, while he played shrilly on his lyre, he lifted up his voice and sang, and lovely was the sound of his voice that followed. He sang the story of the deathless gods and of the dark earth, how at the first they came to be, and how each one received his portion. First among the gods he honored Mnemosyne, [430] mother of the Muses, in his song; for the son of Maia was of her following. And next the goodly son of Zeus hymned the rest of the immortals according to their order in age, and told how each was born, mentioning all in order as he struck the lyre upon his arm. But Apollo was seized with a longing not to be allayed, [435] and he opened his mouth and spoke winged words to Hermes:

“Slayer of oxen, trickster, busy one, comrade of the feast, this song of yours is worth fifty cows, and I believe that presently we shall settle our quarrel peacefully. But come now, tell me this, resourceful son of Maia: [440] has this marvellous thing been with you from your birth, or did some god or mortal man give it you —a noble gift —and teach you heavenly song? For wonderful is this new-uttered sound I hear, the like of which I vow that no man [445] nor god dwelling on Olympus ever yet has known but you,O thievish son of Maia.

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