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

  1. If any Achaean man is nearby
  2. who lives above the Ionian sea, he will not find fault with me. I trust in my being their representative. And among my fellow townsmen, the glance of my eye is bright; I have not overshot the mark, and I have thrust all violence away from my path. May the rest of my days approach benevolently. Anyone who knows the truth will declare whether I follow a path that is out of tune, singing a twisted [*]( Reading with Snell ya/gion for yo/gion . ) song.
  3. Sogenes, of the Euxenid clan, I swear that I did not overstep the line when I hurled, like a bronze-cheeked javelin,
  4. my swift tongue—a throw that disqualifies a man's strong neck from the sweat of the wrestling-match, before his limbs fall under the burning sun. If there was toil, greater delight follows.
  5. Let me go on. If I rose too high and shouted loudly, I am not too rude to pay my debt of gratitude to the victor. It is easy to weave garlands. Strike up the song! The Muse welds together gold and white ivory with coral, the lily she has stolen from beneath the ocean's dew.
  6. But in remembrance of Zeus and in honor of Nemea, whirl a far-famed strain of song, softly. On this spot it is fitting to sing with a gentle voice of the king of gods. For they say that he planted the seed of Aeacus, received by the mother,
  7. to be a city-ruler in my [*]( Reading with Snell and MSS e)ma=| for e(a=| . ) illustrious fatherland, and to be a kindly [*]( Reading with Snell propra/on' for proprew=n' . ) friend and brother to you, Heracles. If one man has any benefit from another, we would say that a neighbor, if he loves his neighbor with an earnest mind, is a joy worth any price. But if a god should also uphold this truth,
  8. then under your protection, Heracles, you who subdued the Giants, Sogenes would dwell happily, fostering a spirit of devotion to his father, beside the rich and sacred road of his ancestors,
  9. since he has his house in your precincts, flanking him on either hand as he goes, like the yoke-arms of a four-horse chariot. Blessed Heracles,
  10. it is fitting for you to persuade the husband of Hera and the gray-eyed virgin goddess; you are often able to give mortals courage against the impasse of helplessness. Would that you might join their youth and splendid old age to a strong and secure life, and weave it through to the end
  11. in good fortune, and may their children's children always have
  12. the honor of the present day, and a still better one to come. But my heart will never say that I have done violence to Neoptolemus with cruel words. To plough the same ground three or four times
  13. is poverty of thought, like babbling “Corinth of Zeus” to children.
  1. Queenly Season of Youth, herald of the divine embraces of Aphrodite, you who rest in the eyes of young girls and boys, and carry one man in the gentle arms of compulsion, but handle another man differently. It is a desirable thing, for one who has not strayed from due measure in any deed,
  2. to be able to win the better kinds of love;
  3. such loves,the shepherds of Cyprian Aphrodite's gifts, attended the marriage-bed of Zeus and Aegina. And from that union a son was born, the king of Oenone, the best in hands and mind. Many men often prayed that they might see him; for, unbidden, the choicest heroes that dwelled around him
  4. wanted to submit to his commands willingly,
  5. those who marshalled their people in rocky Athens, and the descendants of Pelops in Sparta . As a suppliant I cling to the sacred knees of Aeacus, on behalf of his dear city and these citizens, bringing
  6. a Lydian crown embroidered with song, glory from Nemea in the double foot race for Deinias and his father Megas. For prosperity that is planted with a god's blessing is more abiding for men;
  7. such prosperity as once loaded Cinyras with wealth in sea-washed Cyprus . I stand with feet lightly poised, catching my breath before I speak.