FOR AGESIDAMOS OF EPIZEPHYRIAN
WINNER IN THE BOYS' BOXING-MATCH.
This ode bears somewhat the same relation to the next that the fourth does to the fifth. It was to be sung at Olympia on the night after the victory, and Pindar promises the boy to write a longer one for the celebration of his victory in his Italian home. The date is B.C. 484.
Sometimes have men most need of winds, sometimes of showered waters of the firmament, the children of the cloud.
But when through his labour one fareth well, then are due honey-voiced songs, be they even a prelude to words that shall come after, a pledge confirmed by oath in honour of high excellence.
Ample is the glory stored for Olympian winners: thereof my shepherd tongue is fain to keep some part in fold. But only by the help of God is wisdom kept ever blooming in the soul.
Son of Archestratos, Agesidamos, know certainly that for thy boxing I will lay a glory of sweet strains upon thy crown of golden olive, and will have in remembrance the race of the Lokrians' colony in the West.
There do ye, O Muses, join in the song of triumph: I pledge my word that to no stranger-banishing folk shall ye come, nor unacquainted with things noble, but of the highest in arts and valiant with the spear. For neither tawny fox nor roaring lion may change his native temper.
- Perhaps σοφός (which means often rather clever or skilful than wise) has here the special reference to poetic skill, which it often has in Pindar.
- Golden here means supremely excellent, as in the first line of the eighth Olympian.