What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod
146} I correct these proofs abroad and am not within reach of Hesiod
, but surely this passage suggests acquaintance with the Works and Ways, though it by no means compels it.
Now of these two societies the domestic is the first, and Hesiod
is right when he says, "First a house, then a wife, then an ox for the plough," for the poor man has always an ox before a household slave.
The Boeotians, people of the class of which Hesiod represents himself to be the type, were essentially unromantic; their daily needs marked the general limit of their ideals, and, as a class, they cared little for works of fancy, for pathos, or for fine thought as such.
Though the poems of the Boeotian school (2) were unanimously assigned to Hesiod down to the age of Alexandrian criticism, they were clearly neither the work of one man nor even of one period: some, doubtless, were fraudulently fathered on him in order to gain currency; but it is probable that most came to be regarded as his partly because of their general character, and partly because the names of their real authors were lost.
More, however, is made of appearances by this class of persons than by the others; for they throw in the good opinion of the gods, and will tell you of a shower of benefits which the heavens, as they say, rain upon the pious; and this accords with the testimony of the noble Hesiod
and Homer, the first of whom says, that the gods make the oaks of the just--
Perhaps Lewis's object is revealed in this quatrain from Hesiod
, prefatory to Book Eight, "At Bay":
Epic displays as well the ethical life of the people, with Homer and Hesiod
giving the Greeks their gods.
In the original text Theogony by Hesiod
(the Greek poet in the period between 750 and 650 BC, writing a century after Homer), Metis was the first wife of Zeus before he became the king of all gods.
But, because of her curiosity, she opens it and lets all that harm loose (see Hamilton 87-88; Hesiod
Using them to strengthen our bond with the ancient landscape--finding the right page of Plutarch or Hesiod
in the Apollo temple at Delphi in a howling gale--is a challenge we rarely rise to.
The poet Hesiod
advised us not to "put your work off till tomorrow and the day after for a sluggish work-worker does not fill his barn, nor one who puts off his work.