Odes of Pindar (Myers)/Olympian Odes/5

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The Extant Odes of Pindar, translated into English  (1874)  by Pindar, translated by Ernest Myers
Olympian Ode V.




This ode is for the same victory as the foregoing one, but was to be sung after Psaumis' return home, at Kamarina, and probably at, or in procession to, a temple of either Pallas, Zeus, or the tutelary nymph Kamarina, all of whom are invoked. The city is called 'new-peopled' (νέοικος) because it had been destroyed by Gelo, and was only restored B.C. 461, nine years before this victory, the first which had been won by any citizen since its restoration.

Of lofty deeds and crowns Olympian this sweet delight, O daughter[1] of Ocean, with glad heart receive, the gift of Psaumis and his untiring car. He to make great thy city, Kamarina, with its fostered folk, hath honoured six twin altars in great feasts of the gods with sacrifices of oxen and five-day contests of games, with chariots of horses and of mules and with the steed of single frontlet[2].

To thee hath the victor consecrated the proud token[3] of his fame, and hath glorified by the herald's voice his father Akron and this new-peopled town.

Also, returning from the gracious dwelling place of Oinomaos and Pelops, thy sacred grove, O city-guarding Pallas, doth he sing, and the river Oanis, and the lake of his native land, and the sacred channels wherethrough doth Hipparis give water to the people, and build[4] with speed a lofty forest of stedfast dwellings, bringing from perplexity to the light this commonwealth of citizens.

Now ever in fair deeds must toil and cost contend toward an accomplishment hidden in perilous chance: yet if men have good hap therein, even to their own townsfolk is their wisdom approved.

O guardian Zeus that sittest above the clouds, that inhabitest the Kronian hill and honourest the broad river of Alpheos and Ida's holy cave, suppliant to thee I come, making my cry on Lydian flutes, to pray thee that thou wilt glorify this city with brave men's renown.

For thee also, Olympian victor, I pray that, joying in the steeds Poseidon[5] gave, thou mayest bear with thee to the end a serene old age, and may thy sons, O Psaumis, be at thy side. If a man cherish his wealth to sound ends, having a sufficiency of goods and adding thereto fair repute, let him not seek to become a god.

  1. Kamarina.
  2. I.e. probably with horses ridden, not driven.
  3. His Olympian crown of wild olive.
  4. This seems to mean that the new city was built with wood brought down the stream of the river Hipparis.
  5. When Poseidon and Athene were contending for the protectorate of Athens, Poseidon brought the first horse up out of the earth, Athene the first olive-tree.