Pastorals Epistles Odes (1748)/Pindar
Firſt Olympionique of PINDAR.
To Hiero of Syracuſe, victorious in the Horſe-race.
The Poet praiſes Hiero for his juſtice, his wifdom, and his skill in muſick. He likewiſe celebrates the horſe that won the race, and the place where the Olympick Games were performed. From the place (namely Peloponneſus) he takes an occaſion of digreſſing to the known fable of Tantalus and Pelops; whence, returning to Hiero, he ſets forth the felicity of the Olympian Victors. Then be concludes by praying to the gods, to preſerve the glory and dignity of Hiero, admoniſhing him to moderation of mind, in his high ſtation, and, laſtly, glories in his own excellency in compoſitions of this kind.
STROPHE I.Meaſures 18.
ACH element to water yields;
Amidſt the ſtores of wealth that builds
The mind aloft, is eminently bright
But if, my ſoul, with fond deſire 5
To ſing of games thou doſt aſpire,
As thou by day can'ſt not deſcry,
Through all the liquid waſte of sky,
One burniſh'd ſtar, that like the ſun does glow,
And cheriſh every thing below, 10
So, my ſweet ſoul, no toil divine,
In ſong, does like the Olympian ſhine:
Hence do the mighty poets raiſe
A hymn, of every tongue the praiſe,
The ſon of Saturn to reſound, 15
When far, from every land, they come
To viſit Hiero's regal dome,
Where peace, where plenty, is for ever found:
ANTISTROPHE I.Meaſures 18.
Lord of Sicilia's fleecy plains,
He governs, righteous in his power, 20
And, all excelling while he reigns,
From every lovely virtue crops the flower:
In muſick, bloſſom of delight,
Divinely skill'd, he cheers the night,
As we are wont, when friends deſign 25
To feaſt and wanton o'er their wine:
But from the wall the Dorian harp take down,
If Piſa, city of renown,
And if the fleet victorious ſteed,
The boaſt of his unrival'd breed, 30
Heart-pleaſing raptures did inſpire,
And warm thy breaſt with ſacred fire,
When late, on Alpheus' crouded ſhore,
Forth-ſpringing quick, each nerve he ſtrain'd,
The warning of the ſpur diſdain'd, 35
And ſwift to victory his maſter bore,
EPODE I.Meaſures 16.
The lov'd Syracuſian, the prince of the courſe,
The king, who delights in the ſpeed of the horſe:
Great his glory, great his fame,
Throughout the land where Lydian Pelops came 40
To plant his men, a choſen race,
A land the ocean does embrace,
Pelops, whom Neptune, ruler of the main,
Was known to love, when into life again,
From the reviving cauldron warm, 45
Clotho produc'd him whole, his ſhoulder-blade,
And its firm brawn, of ſhining ivory made:
But truth, unvarniſh'd, oft neglefted lies,
When fabled tales, invented to ſurpriſe,
In miracles mighty, have power to charm, 50
Where fictions, happily combin'd,
Deceive and captivate the mind:
STROPHE II.Meaſures 18.
Thus Poëſy, harmonious ſpell,
The ſource of pleaſures ever new,
With dignity does wonders tell; 55
And we, amaz'd, believe each wonder true.
Day, after day, brings truth to light,
Unveil'd, and manifeſt to ſight:
But, of the bleſs'd, thoſe lips, which name
Foul deeds aloud, ſhall ſuffer blame. 60
Thee, ſon of Tantalus, my faithful ſong
Shall vindicate from every wrong,
The glories of thy houſe reſtore,
And baffle falſhoods told before:
Now, in his turn, thy fire prepar'd 65
A banquet; when the gods appear'd
At Sipylus, his ſweet abode,
To grace the due proportion'd feaſt:
There, firſt, the trident-bearing gueſt
Beheld thy lovely form; and now, he glow'd; 70
ANTISTROPHE II.Meaſures 18.
And now, his ſoul ſubdued by love,
Thee in his golden car he bore
Swift to the lofty towers of Jove,
Whoſe name the nations all around adore:
Thus Ganymede was caught on high, 75
To ſerve the power who rules the sky.
When thou no longer did'ſt appear,
And thoſe, who ſought a pledge ſo dear,
Without thee to thy widow'd mother came,
Some envious Neighbour, to defame 80
Thy father's feaſt, a rumour ſpread,
The rumour through the country fled,
That thou, to heighten the repaſt,
Waſt into ſeething water caſt,
Fierce bubbling o'er the raging fire, 85
Thy limbs without companion carv'd,
Thy ſodden fleſh in meſſes ſerv'd,
To gorge the gods and a voracious ſire:
EPODE II.Meaſures 16.
But, in thought ever pure, ſhall I deem it amiſs,
Vile Gluttons to call the partakers of bliſs: 90
Let me then refrain, and dread:
A curſe hangs over the blaſphemer's head.
If they, who ſuperviſe and ward
The heavens, did ever ſhew regard
To mortal man this Tantalus might boaſt, 95
Of mortal men that he was honoured moſt:
But he not able to digeſt
The glut, the ſurfeit, of immortal joys,
One heinous forfeit all his bliſs deſtroys:
For over him the godhead hung, in air, 100
A ponderous ſtone, a dreadful poiſe of care!
From his head to remove it, with terrour oppreſs'd,
In vain he tries, and ſeeks in vain
One cheerful moment to regain:
STROPHE III.Meaſures 18.
A life of woe, beyond relief, 105
His portion' now; ordain'd before
To torments of a three-fold grief,
This fourth was added to compleat his ſtore,
Since, high, preſuming in his ſoul,
He nectar and ambroſia ſtole, 110
To give to men; by which he knew
That, taſting, he immortal grew:
But be not man deceiv'd: the gods reveal
What moſt we labour to conceal:
For this the powers, who deathleſs reign, 115
To earth ſent down his ſon again,
To dwell with men, a ſhort-liv'd race,
Whoſe ſudden fate comes on apace.
His flowery age in all its pride,
When, o'er his chin, a blackening ſhade 120
Of down was caſt, a vow he made,
Deep in his ſoul, to win the proffer'd bride
ANTISTROPHE III.Meaſures 18.
Hippodamia, boaſted name,
From her great ſire the Piſan proud.
Alone, by night, the lover came 125
Beſide the hoary ſea, and call'd aloud
On him who ſways the triple ſpear,
And fills with din the deafen'd ear;
When, at his feet, the god aroſe:
Then Pelops, eager to diſcloſe 130
His mighty care, "O Neptune, if thy mind
" In love did ever pleaſure find,
" Let not Oenomaüs prevail,
" And let his brazen javelin fail:
" Oh! bear me hence, on wheels of ſpeed, 135
" To Elis, to the glorious meed:
" To victory Oh! whirl me, ſtrait:
" Since, after ten, and other three,
" Bold ſuiters ſlain, yet ſtill we ſee,
" From year to year, the promis'd nuptials wait 140
EPODE III.Meaſures 16.
" Of his daughter. No perilous toil can excite
" The daſtard in heart, who deſpairs of his might.
" Since we all are born to dy,
" Who, overcaſt, would in oblivion ly,
" In unreputed age decay, 145
" And meanly ſquander life away,
" Cut off from every praiſe? Then let me dare
" This conflict, in the duſty liſts, to ſhare;
" And proſper thou my glowing wheels.
Thus Pelops ſpoke; nor was his fervent pray'r 150
Pour'd forth in fruitleſs words, to waft in air:
The deity his whole ambition grants;
Nor ſhining car, nor courſers, now he wants:
In the golden bright chariot new vigour he feels,
Exulting in the horſes' feet, 155
Unwearied ever, ever fleet:
STROPHE IV.Meaſures 18.
Oenomaüs, he triumphs o'er
Thy proweſs, and, to ſhare his bed,
Claims the bright maid; who to him bore
Six princely ſons, to manly virtues bred. 160
Now, ſolemniz'd with ſteaming blood,
And pious rites, near Alpheus' flood
Intomb'd, he ſleeps, where the altar ſtands,
That draws the vows of diſtant lands:
And round his tomb the circling racers ſtrive; 165
And round the wheeling chariots drive.
In thy fam'd courſes, Pelops, riſe
The Olympian glories to the skies,
And ſhine afar: there we behold
The ſtretch of manhood, ſtrenuous, bold, 170
In ſore fatigues, and there the ſtrife
Of winged feet. Thrice happy he,
Who overcomes! for he ſhall ſee
Unclouded days, and taſte the ſweets of life,
ANTISTROPHE IV.Meaſures 18.
Thy boon, O victory! thy prize. 175
The good that, in a day obtain'd,
From day to day freſh joy ſupplies,
Is the ſupreme of bliſs to man ordain'd:
But let me now the rider raiſe,
And crown him with Æolian lays, 180
The victor's due: and I confide,
Though every welcome gueſt were try'd,
Not one, in all the concourſe, would be found
For faireſt knowledge more renown'd,
Nor yet a maſter more to twine, 185
In laſting hymns, each wreathing line.
The guardian god, who watchful guides
Thy fortunes, Hiero, preſides
O'er all thy cares with anxious pow'r:
And ſoon, if he does not deny 190
His needful aid, my hopes run high
To ſing more pleaſing, in the joyful hour,
EPODE IV.Meaſures 16.
On thy chariot, triumphant when thou ſhalt appear,
And fly o'er the courſe with a rapid career,
Tracing paths of language fair, 195
As I to Cronion's ſunny mount repair.
Even now the muſe prepares to raiſe,
Her growth, the ſtrongeſt dart of praiſe,
For me to wield. Approv'd in other things,
Do others riſe, conſpicuous: only Kings, 200
High mounting, on the ſummit fix:
There bound thy view, wide-ſpread, nor vainly try
Farther to ſtretch the proſpect of thine eye:
Be, then, thy glorious lot to tread ſublime,
With ſteady ſteps, the meaſur'd trail of time: 205
Be mine, with the prize-bearing worthies to mix,
In Greece, throughout the learned throng,
Proclaim'd unrival'd in my ſong.
To Theron of Agrigentum, victorious
in the Chariot-race.
He praiſes Theron king of Agrigentum, on account of the victory obtained in the Olympic Games, with a chariot and four horſes, likewiſe for his juſtice, his hoſpitality, his fortitude, and the illuſtriouſneſs of his anceſtors; whoſe adventures are occaſionally mentioned: then he interweaves digreſſions to Semele, Ino, Peleus, Achilles, and others, and deſcribes the future ſtate of the righteous and of the wicked. Laſtly, he concludes with extolling his own skill in panegyrick, and the benevolence and liberality of Theron.
STROPHE I.Meaſures 16.
OVEREIGN hymns, whoſe numbers ſway
The ſounding harp, what god, what hero, ſay,
What man, ſhall we reſound?
Is not Piſa Jove's delight?
And did not Hercules, with conqueſt crown'd, 5
To him ordain
The Olympiad for an army ſlain,
Thank-offering of the war?
And muſt we not, in Theron's right,
Exert our voice, and ſwell our ſong? 10
Theron, whoſe victorious car
Four courſers whirl, fleeting along,
To ſtranger-gueſts indulgent hoſt,
Of Agrigentum the ſupport and boaſt,
Cities born to rule and grace, 15
Fair bloſſom of his antient race,
ANTISTROPHE I.Meaſures 16.
Worthies ſore perplex'd in thought,
Till wandering far they found, what long they ſought,
A ſacred ſeat, faſt by
Where the ſtream does rapid run, 20
And reign'd, of Sicily the guardian eye,
When happy days,
And wealth, and favour, flow'd, and praiſe,
That in-born worth inflames.
Saturnian Jove, O! Rhea's Son, 25
Who o'er Olympus doſt preſide,
And the pitch of lofty games,
And Alpheus, of rivers the pride,
Rejoicing in my ſongs, do thou
Incline thine ear, propitious to my vow, 30
Bleſſing, with a bounteous hand,
The rich hereditary land
EPODE I.Meaſures 10.
Through their late lineage down. No power can actions paſs'd,
Whether deeds of right or wrong,
As things not done recall, 35
Not even time, the father, who produces all;
Yet can Oblivion, waiting long,
Through the length
Of proſperous times, forbid thoſe deeds to laſt: 40
Such force has ſweetly-healing joy
The feſtering ſmart of evils to deſtroy,
STROPHE II.Meaſures 16.
When felicity is ſent
Down by the will ſupreme with full content:
Thy Daughters, Cadmus, they 45
Greatly wretched here below,
Bleſs'd ever more, this mighty truth diſplay.
No weight of grief,
But, whelm'd in pleaſures, finds relief,
Sunk in the ſweet abyſs. 50
Thou, Semele, with hair a-flow,
Thou by thunder doom'd to dy,
Mingling with the gods in bliſs,
Art happy, for ever, on high:
Thee Pallas does for ever love, 55
Thee chiefly Jupiter, who rules above;
Thee thy ſon holds ever dear,
Thy ſon with the ivy-wreathed ſpear.
ANTISTROPHE II.Meaſures 16.
Beauteous Ino, we are told,
With the ſea-daughters dwells of Nereus old, 60
And has, by lot, obtain'd
Laſting life, beneath the deep,
A life within no bounds of time reſtrain'd.
The hour of death,
The day when we reſign our breath, 65
That offspring of the ſun,
Which bids us from our labours ſleep,
In vain do mortals ſeek to know,
Or who deſtin'd is to run
A life unintangled with woe; 70
For none are able to diſclofe
The ſeaſons of the uncertain ebbs and flows
Now of pleaſures, now of pains,
Which hidden fate to men ordains:
EPODE II.Meaſures 10.
Thus providence, that to thy anceſtry, long-famed, 75
Portions out a pleaſing ſhare
Of heaven-ſprung happineſs,
Does, ceaſing in another turn of time to bleſs,
Diſtribute ſome reverſe of care,
As from years 80
Since the predeſtin'd ſon, at Pytho named,
Did Laius, blindly meeting, kill,
And the oracle, of old pronounc'd, fulfil:
STROPHE III.Meaſures 16.
Fell Erinnys, quick to view 85
The deed, his warlike ſons in battle ſlew,
Each by the other's rage:
But to Polynices ſlain
Survived Therſander, glory of his age,
For feats of war, 90
And youthful conteſts, honoured far,
The Scion, kept alive
To raiſe the Adraſtian houſe again:
From whence Æneſidamus' heir
Does his ſpreading root derive, 95
To branch out a progeny fair;
Who, ſpringing foremoſt in the chace
Of fame, demands we ſhould his triumph grace,
Tuning lyres to vocal lays,
Sweet union of melodious praiſe; 100
ANTISTROPHE III.Meaſures 16.
For not only has he borne
The Olympian prize, but, with his brother, worn
The garland of renown,
At Pytho and at Iſthmus; where,
Victorious both, they ſhar'd the allotted crown, 105
In twelve impetuous courſes, run
With four unwearied ſteeds.
To vanquiſh in the ſtrife ſevere
Does all anxiety deſtroy: 110
And to this, if wealth ſucceeds
With virtues enamell'd, the joy
Luxuriant grows; ſuch affluence
Does glorious opportunities diſpenſe,
Giving depth of thought to find 115
Purſuits which pleaſe a noble mind,
EPODE III.Meaſures 10.
Refulgent ſtar! to man the pureſt beam of light!
The poſſeſſor of this ſtore.
Far-future things diſcerning, knows
Obdurate wretches, once deceas'd, to immediate Woes
Conſign'd, too late their pains deplore; 121
'E're they go,
Sits one in judgment, who pronounces right
On crimes in this wide realm of Jove; 125
Whoſe dire decree no power can e'er remove:
STROPHE IV.Meaſures 16.
But the good, alike by night,
Alike by day, the ſun's unclouded light
Beholding, ever bleſs'd,
Live an unlaborious life, 130
Nor anxious interrupt their hallow'd reſt
With ſpade and plow,
The earth to vex, or with the prow
The briny ſea, to eat
The bread of care in endleſs ſtrife. 135
The dread divinities among
The few unaccuſtom'd to wrong,
Who never broke the vow they ſwore,
A tearleſs age enjoy for ever-more:
While the wicked hence depart 140
To torments which appall the heart:
ANTISTROPHE IV.Meaſures 16.
But the ſouls who greatly dare,
Thrice try'd in either ſtate, to perſevere
From all injuſtice pure,
Journeying onward in the way 145
Of Jupiter, in virtue ſtill ſecure,
Along his road
Arrive at Saturn's rais'd abode;
Where ſoft ſea-breezes breathe
Round the iſland of the bleſs'd; where gay 150
The trees with golden bloſſoms glow;
Where, their brows and arms to wreathe,
Bright garlands on every ſide blow;
For, ſpringing thick in every field,
The earth does golden flowers ſpontaneous yield; 155
And, in every limpid ſtream,
The budding gold is ſeen to gleam:
EPODE IV.Meaſures 10.
Fair heritage! by righteous Rhadamanth's award;
Who, coequal, takes his ſeat
With Saturn ſire divine, 160
Thy conſort, Rhea, who above the reſt doſt ſhine,
High-thron'd, thou matron-goddeſs great:
Does Peleus and does Cadmus find regard; 165
And, through his mother's winning prayer
To Jove, Achilles dwells immortal there:
STROPHE V.Meaſures 16.
He who Hector did deſtroy,
The pillar firm, the whole ſupport, of Troy,
And Cycnus gave to dy, 170
And Aurora's Æthiop ſon.
My arm beneath yet many darts have I,
All ſwift of flight,
Within my quiver, ſounding right
To every skillful ear: 175
But, of the multitude, not one
Diſcerns the myſtery unexplain'd.
He tranſcendent does appear
In knowledge, from nature who gain'd
His ſtore: but the dull-letter'd croud, 180
In cenſure vehement, in nonſenſe loud,
Clamour idly, wanting skill,
Like crows, in vain, provoking ſtill
ANTISTROPHE V.Meaſures 16.
The celeſtial bird of Jove:
But, to the mark addreſs thy bow, nor rove, 185
My ſoul: and whom do I
Single out with fond deſire,
At him to let illuſtrious arrows fly?
My fix'd intent,
My aim, on Agrigentum bent, 190
A ſolemn oath I plight,
Sincere as honeſt minds require,
That through an hundred circling years,
With recorded worthies bright,
No rivalling city apppears 195
To boaſt a man more frank to impart
Kind offices to friends with open Heart,
Or, with hand amidſt his ſtore,
Delighting to diſtribute more
EPODE V.Meaſures 10.
Than Theron: yet foul calumny, injurious blame, 200
Did the men of rancour raiſe
Againſt his fair renown,
Defamers who by evil Actions ſtrove to drown
His good, and to conceal his praiſe.
Can the ſand, 205
On the ſtrand,
Be numbered o'er? Then, true to Theron's fame,
His favours ſhowering down delight
On thouſands who is able to recite?