Hermes slaughtered one of Apollo’ sacred cows
used its gut to create the Lyre, then gave this up,
in exchange, to Apollo, who then permitted his mistress, Calliope, the Goddess of Song, to use it. Her son (with Apollo) was Orpheus And she (or Apollo himself) gave it to him…..
If it’s strings you would pluck, this instrument
is food for your wildest dreams, strings taut as feeling,
fine as the web encompassed by their song,
permissiveness that lets fingers fly, hearts race;
and though, at first, the cut’s invocative of pain,
the ring is sweet: a honeyed comb,
the most mellifluous of orchestral swells.
This is the gift I give, a toy the gods
had squirreled away, and guarded like some secret jewel,
like that unquenchable fire Prometheus stole. But this is mine,
and you shall have it as your sign, your aurora
your thunderbolt, and like the lion’s skin
to Heracles, it will be your show, your fit,
your pride, your enduring place amongst the stars.