Pythian

Pindar

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

  1. I am intent upon common excellences. The evil workings of envy are warded off,
  2. if a man who attains the summit and dwells in peace escapes dread arrogance. Such a man would go to the farthest shore of a dark death that is finer when he leaves to his sweetest offspring the grace of a good name, the best of possessions.
  3. Such is the grace that spreads abroad the fame of the son of Iphicles,
  4. Iolaus, whose praises are sung; and of the strength of Castor, and of you, lord Polydeuces, sons of the gods: you who dwell for one day at home in Therapne, and for the other in Olympus .
  1. I beseech you, splendor-loving city, most beautiful on earth, home of Persephone; you who inhabit the hill of well-built dwellings above the banks of sheep-pasturing Acragas: be propitious, and with the goodwill of gods and men, mistress,
  2. receive this victory garland from Pytho in honor of renowned Midas, and receive the victor himself, champion of Hellas in that art which once Pallas Athena discovered when she wove into music the dire dirge of the reckless Gorgons
  3. which Perseus heard
  4. pouring in slow anguish from beneath the horrible snakey hair of the maidens, when he did away with the third sister and brought death to sea-girt Seriphus and its people. Yes, he brought darkness on the monstrous race of Phorcus, and he repaid Polydectes with a deadly wedding-present for the long
  5. slavery of his mother and her forced bridal bed; he stripped off the head of beautiful Medusa,
  6. Perseus, the son of Danae, who they say was conceived in a spontaneous shower of gold. But when the virgin goddess had released that beloved man from those labors, she created the many-voiced song of flutes
  7. so that she could imitate with musical instruments the shrill cry that reached her ears from the fast-moving jaws of Euryale. The goddess discovered it; but she discovered it for mortal men to have, and called it the many-headed strain, the glorious strain that entices the people to gather at contests,
  8. often sounding through thin plates of brass and through reeds, which grow beside the city of lovely choruses, the city of the Graces, in the sacred precinct of the nymph of Cephisus, reeds that are the faithful witnesses of the dancers. If there is any prosperity among men, it does not appear without hardship. A god will indeed grant it in full today . . .
  9. What is fated cannot be escaped. But that time will come, striking unexpectedly, and give one thing beyond all expectation, and withhold another.