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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Seventh Olympian Ode
By Pindar (c. 522–433 B.C.)
 
        
For Diagoras of Rhodes, Winner in the Boxing-Match
  
  [Diagoras of Rhodes, most famous of great boxers, won the victory here celebrated in 404 B.C.
  Rhodes is said to have been colonized at the time of the Dorian migrations, by Argive Dorians from Epidauros, who were Herakleidai of the family of Tlepolemos. They founded a confederacy of three cities,—Kameiros, Lindos, and Ialysos. Ialysos was then ruled by the dynasty of the Eratidai. Their kingly power had now been extinct two hundred years, but the family was still pre-eminent in the State. Of this family was Diagoras, and probably the ode was sung at a family festival; but it commemorates the glories of the island generally. The Rhodians caused it to be engraved in letters of gold in the temple of Athene at Lindos.]

AS when from a wealthy hand one lifting a cup, made glad within with the dew of the vine, maketh gift thereof to a youth, his daughter’s spouse, a largess of the feast from home to home, an all-golden choicest treasure, that the banquet may have grace, and that he may glorify his kin; and therewith he maketh him envied in the eyes of the friends around him for a wedlock wherein hearts are wedded,—  1
  So also I, my liquid nectar sending, the Muses’ gift, the sweet fruit of my soul, to men that are winners in the games at Pytho or Olympia make holy offering. Happy is he whom good report encompasseth; now on one man, now on another doth the Grace that quickeneth look favorably, and tune for him the lyre and the pipe’s stops of music manifold.  2
  Thus to the sound of the twain am I come with Diagoras sailing home to sing the sea-girt Rhodes, child of Aphrodite and bride of Helios, that to a mighty and fair-fighting man, who by Alpheos’s stream and by Kastalia’s hath won him crowns, I may for his boxing make award of glory, and to his father Demegetos in whom Justice hath her delight, dwellers in the isle of three cities with an Argive host, nigh to a promontory of spacious Asia.  3
  Fain would I truly tell from the beginning from Tlepolemos the message of my word, the common right of this puissant seed of Herakles. For on the father’s side they claim from Zeus, and on the mother’s from Astydameia, sons of Amyntor.  4
  Now round the minds of men hang follies unnumbered: this is the unachievable thing, to find what shall be best hap for a man both presently and also at the last. Yea, for the very founder of this country once on a time struck with his staff of tough wild-olive-wood Alkmene’s bastard brother Likymnios, in Tiryns, as he came forth from Midea’s chamber, and slew him in the kindling of his wrath. So even the wise man’s feet are turned astray by tumult of the soul.  5
  Then he came to inquire of the oracle of God. And he of the golden hair, from his sweet-incensed shrine, spake unto him of a sailing of ships that should be from the shore of Lerna unto a pasture ringed with sea, where sometime the great king of gods rained on the city golden snow, what time by Hephaistos’s handicraft, beneath the bronze-wrought axe, from the crown of her father’s head Athene leapt to light, and cried aloud with an exceeding cry; and Heaven trembled at her coming, and Earth, the Mother.  6
  Then also the god who giveth light to men, Hyperion, bade his beloved sons see that they guard the payment of the debt, that they should build first for the goddess an altar in the sight of all men, and laying thereon a holy offering they should make glad the hearts of the father, and of his daughter of the sounding spear. Now Reverence, Forethought’s child, putteth valor and the joy of battle into the hearts of men; yet withal there cometh upon them bafflingly the cloud of forgetfulness, and maketh the mind to swerve from the straight path of action. For they, though they had brands burning, yet kindled not the seed of flame, but with fireless rites they made a grove on the hill of the citadel. For them Zeus brought a yellow cloud into the sky, and rained much gold upon the land; and Glaukopis herself gave them to excel the dwellers upon earth in every art of handicraft. For on their roads ran the semblances of beasts and creeping things, whereof they have great glory; for to him that hath knowledge the subtlety that is without deceit is the greater altogether.  7
  Now the ancient story of men saith that when Zeus and the other gods made division of the earth among them, not yet was island Rhodes apparent in the open sea, but in the briny depths lay hid. And for that Helios was otherwhere, none drew a lot for him; so they left him portionless of land, that holy god. And when he spake thereof Zeus would cast lots afresh; but he suffered him not, for that he said that beneath the hoary sea he saw a certain land waxing from its root in earth, that should bring forth food for many men, and rejoice in flocks. And straightway he bade her of the golden fillet, Lachesis, to stretch her hands on high, nor violate the gods’ great oath, but with the son of Kronos promise him that the isle sent up to the light of heaven should be thenceforth a title of himself alone.  8
  And in the end of the matter his speech had fulfillment: there sprang up from the watery main an island, and the father who begetteth the keen rays of day hath the dominion thereof, even the lord of fire-breathing steeds. There sometime, having lain with Rhodes, he begat seven sons, who had of him minds wiser than any among the men of old; and one begat Kameiros, and Ialysos his eldest, and Lindos: and they held each apart their shares of cities, making threefold division of their Father’s land, and these men call their dwelling-places. There is a sweet amends for his piteous ill-hap ordained for Tlepolemos, leader of the Tirynthians at the beginning, as for a god, even the leading thither of sheep for a savory burnt-offering, and the award of honor in games.  9
  Of garlands from these games hath Diagoras twice won him crowns, and four times he had good luck at famous Isthmos, and twice following at Nemea, and twice at rocky Athens. And at Argos the bronze shield knoweth him, and the deeds of Arcadia and of Thebes and the yearly games Bœotian, and Pellene and Aigina, where six times he won; and the pillar of stone at Megara hath the same tale to tell.  10
  But do thou, O Father Zeus, who holdest sway on the mountain ridges of Atabyrios, glorify the accustomed Olympian winner’s hymn, and the man who hath done valiantly with his fists: give him honor at the hands of citizens and of strangers; for he walketh in the straight way that abhorreth insolence, having learnt well the lessons his true soul hath taught him, which hath come to him from his noble sires. Darken not thou the light of one who springeth from the same stock of Kallianax. Surely with the joys of Eratidai the whole city maketh mirth. But the varying breezes even at the same point of time speed each upon their various ways.  11
 
 
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