Pythian

Pindar

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

  1. Come, let us devise a friendly song for the king of Aetna,
  2. for whom Hieron founded that city with god-built freedom, in accordance with the laws of the rule of Hyllus. The descendants of Pamphylus, and, truly, of the Heracleidae also, dwelling beneath the cliffs of Taÿgetus, are willing to abide forever as Dorians under the ordinances of Aegimius.
  3. Setting out from Pindus they took Amyclae and prospered, highly renowned neighbors of the Tyndaridae with their white horses, and the fame of their spear burst into bloom.
  4. Zeus the Accomplisher, grant that beside the waters of Amenas the true report of men may always assign such good fortune to citizens and kings alike; with your blessing the man who is himself the leader,
  5. and who instructs his son, may bring honor to the people and turn them towards harmonious peace. I entreat you, son of Cronus, grant that the battle-shouts of the Carthaginians and Etruscans stay quietly at home, now that they have seen their arrogance bring lamentation to their ships off Cumae .
  6. Such were their sufferings, when they were conquered by the leader of the Syracusans—a fate which flung their young men from their swift ships into the sea,
  7. delivering Hellas from grievous bondage. From Salamis I will win as my reward the gratitude of the Athenians, and in Sparta from the battles before Cithaeron [*]( Reading with Snell ta=n . . maka=n for ta\n . . ma/kan ; read either a)/ra (Wilamowitz) or a)po\ (Stone, CR 49, 1935 , 124) for e)re/w . Cf. R. W. B. Burton, Pindar's Pythian Odes , Oxford 1962 , 106f. ) —those battles in which the Medes with their curved bows suffered sorely; but beside the well-watered bank of the river Himeras I shall win my reward by paying my tribute of song to the sons of Deinomenes,
  8. the song which they earned by their excellence, when their enemies were suffering.
  9. If you speak in due proportion, twisting the strands of many themes into a brief compass, less blame follows from men. For wearying satiety blunts the edge of short-lived expectations, and what the citizens hear secretly weighs heavy on their spirits, especially concerning the merits of others.
  10. Nevertheless, since envy is better than pity, do not abandon fine deeds! Steer your men with the rudder of justice; forge your tongue on the anvil of truth:
  11. if even a small spark flies, it is carried along as a great thing when it comes from you. You are the guardian of an ample store. You have many faithful witnesses of both good and bad. But abide in a blossoming temper,
  12. and if you are fond of always hearing sweet things spoken of you, do not be too distressed by expenses, but, like a steersman, let your sail out to the wind. Do not be deceived, my friend, by glib profit-seeking. The loud acclaim of renown that survives a man
  13. is all that reveals the way of life of departed men to storytellers and singers alike. The kindly excellence of Croesus does not perish,
  14. but Phalaris, with his pitiless mind, who burned his victims in a bronze bull, is surrounded on all sides by a hateful reputation; lyres that resound beneath the roof do not welcome him as a theme in gentle partnership with the voices of boys. The first of prizes is good fortune; the second is to be well spoken of; but a man
  15. who encounters and wins both has received the highest garland.