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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Beloved Youth Gains Fame from the Poet’s Songs
By Theognis (fl. Sixth Century B.C.)
 
Translation of John Hookham Frere

YOU soar aloft, and over land and wave
Are borne triumphant on the wings I gave
(The swift and mighty wings, Music and Verse).
Your name in easy numbers smooth and terse
Is wafted o’er the world; and heard among        5
The banquetings and feasts, chanted and sung,
Heard and admired; the modulated air
Of flutes, and voices of the young and fair,
Recite it, and to future times shall tell,
When, closed within the dark sepulchral cell,        10
Your form shall molder, and your empty ghost
Wander along the dreary Stygian coast.
  Yet shall your memory flourish fresh and young,
Recorded and revived on every tongue,
In continents and islands, every place        15
That owns the language of the Grecian race.
  No purchased prowess of a racing steed,
But the triumphant Muse, with airy speed,
Shall bear it wide and far, o’er land and main,
A glorious and unperishable strain;        20
A mighty prize, gratuitously won,
Fixed as the earth, immortal as the sun.
  But for all this no kindness in return!
No token of attention or concern!
Baffled and scorned, you treat me like a child,        25
From day to day, with empty words beguiled.
Remember! common justice, common-sense,
Are the best blessings which the gods dispense:
And each man has his object; all aspire
To something which they covet and desire.        30
  Like a fair courser, conqueror in the race,
Bound to a charioteer sordid and base,
I feel it with disdain; and many a day
Have longed to break the curb and burst away.
 
 
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