Euterpe the “Giver of Pleasure” is the muse of music and is represented with a flute. It has been said she is the inventor of the double flute. By the river Strymon, she bore Rhesus who was slain at Troy.
Euterpe glanced her fingers o’er her lute,
And lightly waked it to a cheerful strain,
Then laid it by, and took the mellow flute,
Whose softly flowing warble filled the plain:
It was a lay that roused the drooping soul,
And bade the tear of sorrow cease to flow;
From shady woods the Nymphs enchanted stole,
While laughing Cupids bent the silver bow,
Fluttering like fays that flit in Luna’s softened glow.
Melpomene the “Songstress” is the muse of tragedy in spite of her joyous singing and is represented by the tragic mask.
She is sometimes seen with garland, a club and a sword. She is often seen wearing cothurnes, boots traditionally worn by tragic actors, and a crown of cypress.
But oh Melpomene! thy lyre of wo –
To what a mournful pitch its keys were strung,
And when thou badest its tones of sorrow flow,
Each weeping Muse, enamoured, o’er thee hung:
How sweet–how heavenly sweet, when faintly rose
The song of grief, and at its dying close
The soul seemed melting in the trembling breast;
The eye in dews of pity flowed away,
And every heart, by sorrow’s load opprest,
To infant softness sunk, as breathed thy mournful lay
Polyhymnia (Polymnia), “She of Many Hymns,” is the muse of Sacred Poetry and is seen with a pensive look upon her face.
She brings distinction to writers whose works have won them immortal fame. She has also been called the Muse of geometry, mime, meditation and agriculture. Polyhymnia is often veiled.
The rage of Pindar filled the sounding air,
As Polyhymnia tried her skill divine;
The shaggy lion roused him from his lair,
And bade his blood-stained eyes in fury shine;
The famished eagle poised his waving wings,
Whetting his thirsty beak – while murder rose,
With hand that grasps a dirk, with eye that glows