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

  1. for time beyond reckoning. Heroes who are honored by the grace of Zeus provide a theme for skilled poets:
  2. among the Aetolians the brave sons of Oeneus are worshipped with shining sacrifices; in Thebes the horseman Iolaus has his honor, and Perseus in Argos , and the spearman Castor together with Polydeuces by the streams of Eurotas.
  3. But in Oenone the honors belong to the great-hearted spirits
  4. of Aeacus and his sons. Twice in battles they sacked the city of the Trojans: the first time following Heracles, the second time the sons of Atreus. Now, drive me into the air! Tell me, who killed Cycnus, and who Hector,
  5. and the fearless commander of the Ethiopians, bronze-armed Memnon? Who wounded noble Telephus with his spear by the banks of Caïcus?
  6. Men whose voices name the outstanding island of Aegina as their fatherland, built long ago
  7. as a tower for lofty excellence to ascend. My swift tongue has many arrows, to shout the praises of these heroes. And now the city of Aias, Salamis, could testify that she was saved by her sailors in Ares' confrontation
  8. in the destructive storm sent by Zeus,
  9. when slaughter poured like hail on countless men. Nevertheless, quench this boast in silence. Zeus dispenses both good and bad, Zeus the master of all. But such honors as these also welcome the joy of triumph, covered with the delicious honey of song. Let a man strive and contend
  10. in the games when he has learned from the race of Cleonicus. The long toil of their men is not hidden in blind darkness, nor has thought of the expense fretted away their devotion to their hopes. I praise Pytheas also among limb-subduing pancratiasts,
  11. skillful with his hands in guiding straight the course of Phylacidas' blows, and with a mind to match. Take a garland for him, and bring him a fillet of fine wool, and send along this winged new song.
  1. Just as we mix the second bowl of wine when the men's symposium is flourishing, here is the second song of the Muses for Lampon's children and their athletic victories: first in Nemea, Zeus, in your honor they received the choicest of garlands,
  2. and now in honor of the lord of the Isthmus and the fifty Nereids, for the victory of the youngest son, Phylacidas. May there be a third libation of honey-voiced songs to pour over Aegina in honor of Zeus Soter of Olympia.
  3. For if a man, rejoicing in expense and toil, achieves godly excellence, and a divinity sows the seed of lovely fame in him, then he already casts his anchor on the farthest shore of prosperity, since he is honored by the gods. The son of Cleonicus prays that with such feelings
  4. he will meet death and welcome gray old age. And I entreat Clotho, throned on high, and her sister Fates, to hear my friend's prayers for fame.
  5. And as for you, sons of Aeacus with your golden chariots,