Pythian

Pindar

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

  1. With the help of the deep-waisted Graces I want to shout aloud proclaiming the Pythian victory with the bronze shield of Telesicrates, a prosperous man, the crowning glory of chariot-driving Cyrene;
  2. the long-haired son of Leto once snatched her from the wind-echoing glens of Mt. Pelion, and carried the girl of the wilds in his golden chariot to a place where he made her mistress of a land rich in flocks and most rich in fruits, to live and flourish on the root of the third continent.
  3. Silver-footed Aphrodite welcomed
  4. the Delian guest from his chariot, touching him with a light hand, and she cast lovely modesty on their sweet union, joining together in a common bond of marriage the god and the daughter of wide-ruling Hypseus. He was at that time king of the proud Lapiths, a hero of the second generation from Oceanus;
  5. in the renowned glens of Mt. Pindus a Naiad bore him, Creusa the daughter of Gaia, delighting in the bed of the river-god Peneius.
  6. And Hypseus raised his lovely-armed daughter Cyrene. She did not care for pacing back and forth at the loom, nor for the delights of luncheons with her stay-at-home companions;
  7. instead, fighting with bronze javelins and with a sword, she killed wild beasts, providing great restful peace for her father's cattle; but as for her sweet bed-fellow, sleep,
  8. she spent only a little of it on her eyelids as it fell on them towards dawn.
  9. Once the god of the broad quiver, Apollo who works from afar, came upon her wrestling alone and without spears with a terrible lion. Immediately he called Cheiron from out of his halls and spoke to him:
  10. “Leave your sacred cave, son of Philyra, and marvel at the spirit and great strength of this woman; look at what a struggle she is engaged in, with a fearless head, this young girl with a heart more than equal to any toil; her mind is not shaken with the cold wind of fear. From what mortal was she born? From what stock has this cutting been taken,
  11. that she should be living in the hollows of the shady mountains
  12. and putting to the test her boundless valor? [*](Following Snell's punctuation.) Is it lawful to lay my renowned hand on her? And to cut the honey-sweet grass of her bed?” And the powerful Centaur, laughing softly with a gentle brow, right away gave his wise advice in reply: “Hidden are skilled Persuasion's keys to holy love,
  13. Phoebus, and both gods and men blush to take the pleasure of a bed for the first time openly.
  14. For even in your case, for whom it is unlawful to touch on falsehood, a gentle impulse has swayed you to dissemble your words. You ask me from what race the girl comes, lord Apollo? You who know the appointed end of all things,
  15. and all the paths that lead to them? And how many leaves the earth puts forth in spring, and how many grains of sand in the sea and in rivers are dashed by the waves and the gusting winds; and that which will be, and from where it will come, all this you clearly see.
  16. But if I must match myself even against one who is wise,
  17. I will speak. You came to this glen to be her husband, and you will bear her over the sea to the choicest garden of Zeus, where you will make her the ruler of a city, when you have gathered the island-people
  18. to the hill encircled by plains. And now queen Libya of the broad meadows will gladly welcome your glorious bride in her golden halls. There she will right away give her a portion of land to flourish with her as her lawful possession, not without tribute of all kinds of fruit, nor unfamiliar with wild animals.
  19. There she will bear a child, whom famous Hermes
  20. will take from beneath his own dear mother and carry to the Seasons on their lovely thrones and to Gaia. They will admire [*]( Reading with Bergk and Snell qahsa/menoi for katqhka/menai . ) the baby on their knees and drop nectar and ambrosia on his lips, and they will make him immortal, to be called Zeus and holy Apollo, a delight to men he loves, an ever-present guardian of flocks,