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.