Listen to the sad story of mankind:
At first mindless, I gave them mind and reason.
Not in disparagement of men do I speak.
But to show my gifts were governed by good will.
For seeing, they saw not; hearing, they could not listen.
All their lives they passed like shapes in dreams,
Confused and devoid of purpose… .
They acted without knowledge, till I came… .
Number, chief of sciences, I invented for them,
And how to set down words in writing,
The skill of remembrance, mother of the Muses… .
I distinguished the divers modes of prophecy,
And was the first to discern from dreams
What Fate ordains should come to be.
I gave the hidden sense of voices,
Sounds, sights met by chance upon the road.
I guided mankind to a hidden art,
And read to them the intimations of the altar-flames.
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