Time for another bit of ancient beauty! I love little gems like this. It is not truly a hymn as such, but more an invocation: a short work that is meant to supplicate. This one is to Apollon and the muse Kalliope, the muse who presides over eloquence and epic poetry. It was written by Mesomodes.

Mesomedes of Krete (Μεσομήδης ὁ Κρής) was a Roman-era Greek lyric poet and composer of the early 2nd century AD. Two epigrams by him in the Greek Anthology are extant, and a hymn to Nemesis as well as one to Helios. The hymn is one of four which preserve the ancient musical notation written over the text. A total of 15 poems by Mesomedes are known. Prior to the discovery of the Seikilos epitaph in the late 19th century, the hymns of Mesomedes were the only surviving written music from the ancient world. The hymns to Nemesis, the muse Kalliope, and Helios can be read here and listened to here.

This version was reconstructed by Christodoulos Halaris and has been recorded on his album 'Music of Ancient Greece'. Greek composer and scholar Christodoulos Halaris is a leading expert on the study and reconstruction of ancient Greek and Byzantine music. He turned to musicology and composing after studying mathematics in Paris. Taking his cues from religious iconography and traditional popular Greek music, Halaris began reconstructing fragmentary (and sometimes nonexistent) old Greek music documents. He has published more than fifty CD's of this music and helped create the Museum of Thessalonica, devoted to Greek music. The English translations are from Ancient Greek Music by M. L. West, Oxford University Press, 1992.

Invocation to Apollon and Kalliope

Sing for me, dear Muse,
begin my tuneful strain;
a breeze blow from your groves
to stir my listless brain.
Skilful Calliope,
leader of the delightsome Muses,
and skilful instructor,
son of Leto, Delian Paian,
favour and be with me.