John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Poet's Corner: Olympian XIV

Olympian XIV: for Asopichus of Orchomenus, Winner of the Boys’ Foot-Race


The waters of Kaphisos belong
To the place of fine horses where you dwell,
Queens of song, in sparkling Orchomenos,
Graces, who watch
Over the ancient race of the Minyans,
Hear, when I pray. By your help
All sweet and delightful things
Belong to men; if anyone
Is wise or lovely or famous.
For without the holy Graces
Not even the Gods rule dances or feasts.
They dispose all that is done in Heaven;
Their thrones are set
At the side of Pythian Apollo, the golden-bowed,
And they worship the everlasting glory
Of the Father on Olympos.


O Lady Glory, and Mirth, delighting in music,
Children of the most mighty of Gods,
Listen now, and Health, lover of the dance,
Look on the company lightly treading after friendly fortune.
I have come with a song for Asopichos
In the Lydian style with careful art;
For through you the Minyan race
Is victorious at Olympia.
Go now, Echo, to the black walls
Of Persephona's house
And bring the fine news to his father;
See Kleodamos and tell him
How his son
In the famous valleys of Pytho
Has crowned his young hair
With the wings of a glorious triumph.

Pindar (ca. 522 B.C. – 443 B.C.)

Pindar wrote eight odes to Olympic champions; this one is thought to be one of the earliest.

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