The Hippocrene (Ἱππου κρήνης)[1] was the name of a spring on Mount Helicon.[2] It was sacred to the Muses and was formed by the hooves of Pegasus. Its name literally translates as "Horse's Fountain".[3] The water is said to bring forth poetic inspiration when imbibed.[4]

Hesiod refers to the Horse's Spring on Helicon in his poem, Theogony (ll. 1-25):[5]

And after they have washed their tender skin in Permessus or in the Horse's Spring or Olmeius, they perform choral dances on highest Helicon, beautiful, lovely ones, and move nimbly with their feet.

Keats also describes the Hippocrene in his poem, Ode to a Nightingale.

O for a beaker full of warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, with beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, And leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into forest dim.

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The Theogony of Hesiod, c.700 BCE


  1. Most, G. "Hesiod", 2006, p.2
  2. Frazer, J. G. "Pausanias, and Other Greek Sketches", 1900, p.358
  3. Encyclopedia Mythica:
  4. Merriam-Webster:
  5. Most, G. "Hesiod", 2006, p.3