I have a job assessment today that I need to prepare for, meaning I have literally no time to put something together. Re-try for tomorrow, but today you get to enjoy a beautiful hymn written by Proklos, so this post is not a loss for sure.

Proklos (Πρόκλος) was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, one of the last major Classical philosophers. He was alive from 8 February 412 AD to 17 April 485 AD, and amongst other things, he wrote five beautiful hymns about the Roman Gods, which can be interpreted for the Hellenic ones as well. The surviving works consist of two hymns to Venus (Aphrodite), one to the Sun (Helios), one to the Muses, and one to Minerva (Athena). Today, you are getting his hymn to the Muses, because I pra they give my mind and words wings today.

A SACRED light I sing, which leads on high
Jove's nine famed daughters, ruler of the sky,
Whose splendours beaming o'er this sea of life,
On souls hard struggling with its storms of strife,
Through mystic rites perfective and refined,
(From books which stimulate the sluggish mind)
From earth's dire evils leads them to that shore,
Where grief and labour can infest no more;
And well instructs them how, with ardent wing,
From Lethe's deep, wide-spreading flood to spring,
And how once more their kindred stars to gain,
And ancient seats in truth's immortal plain,
From whence they wand'ring fell, thro' mad desire
Of matter's regions and allotments dire.
In me this rage repress, illustrious Nine!
And fill my mental eye with light divine.                           
Oh may the doctrines of the wise inspire
My soul with sacred Bacchanalian fire,
Lest men, with filthy piety replete,
From paths of beauteous light divert my feet.
Conduct my erring soul to sacred light,
From wand'ring generation's stormy night:
Wise thro' your volumes hence, the task be mine,
To sing in praise of eloquence divine,
Whose soothing power can charm the troubled soul,
And throbbing anguish and despair control.
Hear, splendid goddesses, of bounteous mind,
To whom the helm of wisdom is assigned,
And who the soul with all-attractive flame
Lead to the blest immortals whence she came,
From night profound enabling her to rise,
Forsake dull earth, and gain her native skies,
And with unclouded splendour fill the mind,
By rites ineffable of hymns refin'd.
Hear, mighty saviours! and with holy light,
While reading works divine illume my sight,
And dissipate these mists, that I may learn
Immortal gods from mortals to discern;
Lest, plunged in drowsy Lethe's black abyss,
Some baneful daemon keep my soul from bliss;
And lest deep merged in Hyle's stormy mire,
Her powers reluctant suffer tortures dire,
And some chill Fury with her freezing chain,
In ling'ring lethargy my life detain.
All-radiant governors of wisdom's light,
To me now hast'ning from the realms of night,
And ardent panting for the coast of day,
Thro' sacred rites benignant point the way,
And mystic knowledge of my view disclose,
Since this for ever from your nature flows.

Thomas Taylor, who translated this version of the hymn, notes that Proklos, in his Scholia on the Cratylus, beautifully observes as follows, concerning the Muses:

"The whole world is bound in indissoluble bonds from Apollo and the Muses, and is both one and all-perfect, through the communications of these divinities; possessing the former through the Apollonical monad, + but its all-perfect subsistence through the number of the Muses. For the number nine, which is generated from the first perfect number, (that is, three) is, through similitude and sameness, accommodated to the multiform causes of the mundane order and harmony; all of them at the same time being collected into one summit for the purpose of producing one consummate perfection; for the Muses generate the variety of reasons with which the world is replete; but Apollo comprehends in union all the multitude of these. And the Muses give subsistence to the harmony of soul; but Apollo is the leader of intellectual and indivisible harmony. The Muses distribute the phenomena according to harmonical reasons; but Apollo comprehends unapparent and separate harmony. And though both give subsistence to the same things, yet the Muses effect this according to number, but Apollo according to union. And the Muses indeed distribute the unity of Apollo; but Apollo unites and contains harmonic multitude: for the multitude of the Muses proceeds from the essence of Musagetes, which is both separate and subsists according to the nature of the one."