FOR PSAUMIS OF KAMARINA,
WINNER IN THE MULE-CHARIOT-RACE.
Psaumis won this race in the year 452; therefore this ode and its companion, the next following, are the latest work of Pindar possessed by us to which we can assign a date.
The mule-chariot-race was introduced at Olympia B. C. 500 and abolished B.C. 444, according to Pausanias.
This ode seems to have been written immediately on Psaumis' victory, to be sung the same night beneath the moon by the company of friends who escorted the winner to return thanks at the altar of Zeus.
Hurler of thunderbolts unfaltering, the most high Zeus, for that thy chosen hour recurrent hath sent me with a song set to the music of the subtle lute for a witness to the greatest of all games—and when friends have good hap the good are glad forthwith at the sweet tidings—now therefore, O son of Kronos, unto whom Aetna belongeth, the wind-beaten burden that crusheth fierce Typhon's hundred heads, receive thou this band of triumph for an Olympian victory won by the Graces' aid, a most enduring light of far-prevailing valorous deeds.
For for the sake of Psaumis' mule-chariot it draweth nigh to thee, Psaumis, who, crowned with Pisan olive, hasteth[errata 1] to raise up glory for Kamarina. May God be gracious to our prayers for what shall be! For I praise him as a man most zealous in the rearing of horses, and delighting in ever-open hospitality, and bent on peace and on the welfare of his city, with guileless soul.
With no lie will I tinge my tale: trial is the test of men; this it was that delivered the son of Klymenos from the Lemnian women's slight. He, when he had won the foot-race in bronze armour, spake thus to Hypsipyle as he went to receive his crown: 'For fleetness such am I: hands have I and a heart to match. So also on young men grow oftentimes grey hairs even before the natural season of man's life.'
- See introduction to Pythian ix.
- We may suppose that Psaumis probably had grey hair.
- Original: hastest was amended to hasteth: detail