Olympian

Pindar

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

  1. Those who have persevered three times, on either side, to keep their souls free from all wrongdoing,
  2. follow Zeus' road to the end, to the tower of Cronus, where ocean breezes blow around the island of the blessed, and flowers of gold are blazing, some from splendid trees on land, while water nurtures others. With these wreaths and garlands of flowers they entwine their hands
  3. according to the righteous counsels of Rhadamanthys, whom the great father, the husband of Rhea whose throne is above all others, keeps close beside him as his partner. Peleus and Cadmus are counted among them, and Achilles who was brought there by his mother, when she had
  4. persuaded the heart of Zeus with her prayers—
  5. Achilles, who laid low Hector, the irresistible, unswerving pillar of Troy , and who consigned to death Memnon the Ethiopian, son of the Dawn. I have many swift arrows in the quiver under my arm,
  6. arrows that speak to the initiated. But the masses need interpreters. [*]( On this line see W. H. Race, "The End of Olympian 2: Pindar and the Vulgus," CSCA 12, 1979 , 251-67, and G. W. Most, "Pindar O. 2.83-90," CQ 36, 1986 , 304-16. ) The man who knows a great deal by nature is truly skillful, while those who have only learned chatter with raucous and indiscriminate tongues in vain like crows
  7. against the divine bird of Zeus. Now, bend your bow toward the mark; tell me, my mind, whom are we trying to hit
  8. as we shoot arrows of fame from a gentle mind? I will aim at Acragas , and speak with true intent a word sworn by oath: no city for a hundred years has given birth to a man more beneficent in his mind or more generous with his hand
  9. than Theron. But praise is confronted by greed, which is not accompanied by justice, but stirred up by depraved men, eager to babble and to bury the fine deeds of noble men. Since the sand of the shore is beyond all counting,
  10. who could number all the joys that Theron has given others?
  1. I pray that I may be pleasing to the hospitable sons of Tyndareus and to Helen of the beautiful hair while I honor renowned Acragas by raising my song in praise of Theron's victory at Olympia , won by the choicest of horses with untiring feet. With this in view the Muse stood beside me when I found a shining new manner
  2. of fitting the splendid voice of the victory procession to the Dorian sandal.
  3. For the garlands twined around his hair exact from me this sacred debt, to blend harmoniously for the son of Aenesidamus the embroidered song of the lyre and the cry of the flutes with the arrangement of words, and Pisa bids me to raise my voice— Pisa , from which
  4. god-fated songs come often to men,
  5. for anyone over whose brow the strict Aetolian judge of the Greeks tosses up around his hair the gray-green adornment of olive leaves, fulfilling the ancient behests of Heracles; the olive which once the son of Amphitryon brought from the shady springs of the Danube ,
  6. to be the most beautiful memorial of the Olympian contests,
  7. when he had persuaded the Hyperborean people, the servants of Apollo, with speech. With trustworthy intentions he was entreating them for a shady plant, to be shared by all men and to be a garland of excellence in the grove of Zeus which is hospitable to all. For already the altars had been consecrated to his father, and in mid-month the full
  8. evening's eye shone brightly, the Moon on her golden chariot,
  9. and he had established the consecrated trial of the great games along with the four years' festival beside the sacred banks of the Alpheus. But Pelops' sacred ground was not flourishing with beautiful trees in the valleys below the hill of Cronus. He saw that this garden, bare of trees, was exposed to the piercing rays of the sun.
  10. And so his spirit prompted him to travel to the land