Olympian

Pindar

Pindar, creator; Arnson Svarlien, Diane, 1960-, translator

  1. While I praise a house that has been three times victorious at Olympia , gentle to her own citizens, and hospitable to strangers, I shall recognize prosperous Corinth,
  2. the portal of Isthmian Poseidon, glorious in her young men. There dwell Eunomia [*](Good Government) and her sisters, the secure foundation of cities: Dike, [*](Justice) and Eirene, [*](Peace) who was raised together with her, the guardians of wealth for men, the golden daughters of wise Themis. [*](Law)
  3. They are resolute in repelling
  4. Hybris, [*](Arrogance) the bold-tongued mother of Koros . [*](Surfeit) I have fine things to tell, and straightforward boldness urges my tongue to speak. It is impossible to conceal one's inborn nature. As for you, sons of Aletes, often the Seasons have sent you victorious splendor
  5. for your consummate excellence when you won in sacred contests, and often into the hearts of men
  6. the Seasons rich in flowers have cast ancient inventiveness. But the fame for every work is due to its inventor. Whence did the graces of Dionysus first come to light, with the ox-driving dithyramb?
  7. Who invented the bridle for the harness of horses, or placed the double king of birds on top of the temples of gods? And in Corinth the sweet-breathing Muse blossoms, and also Ares, with the deadly spears of young men.
  8. Highest lord
  9. of Olympia , ruling far and wide; for all time, father Zeus, may you be ungrudging of our words, and ruling this people in safety, grant a straight course to the fair wind of Xenophon's good fortune. Receive the ordained song of praise in honor of his garlands, the procession which he leads from the plains of Pisa ,
  10. since he has been victorious in both the pentathlon and the foot race; he has attained what no mortal man has ever attained before.
  11. Two wreaths of wild celery crowned him, when he appeared at the Isthmian festival; and Nemea does not speak differently.
  12. The brilliance of his father Thessalus' feet is stored up by the streams of the Alpheus, and at Pytho he has honor for the single and the double foot race within the circuit of a single day's sun; and in the same month, in rocky Athens , one swift-footed day placed three very beautiful prizes on his head,
  13. and the games of Athena Hellotis give him seven victories. In the games of Poseidon between the two seas, the songs would be too long that could tell of all the victories won by Terpsias and Eritimus, with their father Ptoeodorus. And as for all the times you were best at Delphi , and in the lion's pastures, I am ready to contend with many
  14. over the number of your honors; for, truly, I would not know how to give a clear account of the number of pebbles in the sea.
  15. Each thing has its limit; knowing it is the best and most timely way. And I, sailing on my own course for the common good,
  16. and singing of the wisdom and the battles of ancient men in their heroic excellence, shall not falsify the story of Corinth; I shall tell of Sisyphus, who, like a god, was very shrewd in his devising, and of Medea, who resolved on her own marriage against her father's will, and thus saved the ship Argo and its seamen.
  17. And again, in the fight long ago before the walls of Dardanus, Corinthians seemed to decide the issue of battles on either side: some of them attempting, with the dear race of Atreus, to recover Helen, and others doing everything they could
  18. to oppose the attempt. And the Danaans trembled before Glaucus, when he came from Lycia ; he boasted to them that in the city of Peirene lay the rule and rich estate and hall of his ancestor, Bellerophon,
  19. who once suffered greatly when beside the spring he wanted to harness Pegasus, the son of the snake-entwined Gorgon;
  20. until the maiden Pallas brought to him a bridle with golden cheek-pieces. The dream suddenly became waking reality, and she spoke: “Are you sleeping, king, son of Aeolus? Come, take this charm for the horse; and, sacrificing a white bull, show it to your ancestor, Poseidon the Horse-Tamer.”