winner

FOR THERON OF AKRAGAS,

WINNER IN THE CHARIOT-RACE. (by Pindar)

       *       *       *       *       *

  Theron's ancestors the Emmenidai migrated from Rhodes to Sicily and
  first colonized Gela and then Akragas (the Latin Agrigentum and
  Italian Girgenti). His chariot won this victory B.C. 476.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lords of the lute, my songs, what god, what hero, or what man, are
we to celebrate? Verily of Zeus is Pisa the abode, of Herakles the
Olympian feast was founded from the chief spoils of war, and Theron's
name must we proclaim for his victory with the four-horse-car, a
righteous and god-fearing host, the stay of Akragas, of famous sires
the flower, a saviour of the state.

They after long toils bravely borne took by a river's side a sacred
dwelling place, and became the eye of Sicily, and a life of good luck
clave to them, bringing them wealth and honour to crown their inborn
worth.

O son of Kronos and of Rhea, lord of Olympus' seat, and of the chief
of games and of Alpheos' ford, for joy in these my songs guard ever
graciously their native fields for their sons that shall come after
them.

Now of deeds done whether they be right or wrong not even Time the
father of all can make undone the accomplishment, yet with happy
fortune forgetfulness may come. For by high delights an alien pain is
quelled and dieth, when the decree of God sendeth happiness to grow
aloft and widely.

And this word is true concerning Kadmos' fair-throned daughters, whose
calamities were great, yet their sore grief fell before greater
good. Amid the Olympians long-haired Semele still liveth, albeit she
perished in the thunder's roar, and Pallas cherisheth her ever, and
Father Zeus exceedingly, and her son, the ivy-bearing god. And in the
sea too they say that to Ino, among the sea-maids of Nereus, life
incorruptible hath been ordained for evermore.

Ay but to mortals the day of death is certain never, neither at what
time we shall see in calm the end of one of the Sun's children, the
Days, with good thitherto unfailing; now this way and now that run
currents bringing joys or toils to men.

Thus destiny which from their fathers holdeth the happy fortune of
this race[3], together with prosperity heaven-sent bringeth ever at
some other time better reverse: from the day when Laïos was slain by
his destined son[4] who met him on the road and made fulfilment of the
oracle spoken of old at Pytho. Then swift Erinys when she saw it slew
by each other's hand his war-like sons: yet after that Polyneikes fell
Thersander[5] lived after him and won honour in the Second Strife[6]
and in the fights of war, a saviour scion to the Adrastid house.

From him they have beginning of their race: meet is it that
Ainesidamos receive our hymn of triumph, on the lyre. For at Olympia
he himself received a prize and at Pytho, and at the Isthmus to his
brother of no less a lot did kindred Graces bring crowns for the
twelve rounds of the four-horse chariot-race.

Victory setteth free the essayer from the struggle's griefs, yea and
the wealth that a noble nature hath made glorious bringeth power for
this and that, putting into the heart of man a deep and eager mood, a
star far seen, a light wherein a man shall trust if but[7] the holder
thereof knoweth the things that shall be, how that of all who die the
guilty souls pay penalty, for all the sins sinned in this realm
of Zeus One judgeth under earth, pronouncing sentence by unloved
constraint.

But evenly ever in sunlight night and day an unlaborious life the good
receive, neither with violent hand vex they the earth nor the waters
of the sea, in that new world; but with the honoured of the gods,
whosoever had pleasure in keeping of oaths, they possess a tearless
life: but the other part suffer pain too dire to look upon.

Then whosoever have been of good courage to the abiding steadfast
thrice on either side of death and have refrained their souls from
all iniquity, travel the road of Zeus unto the tower of Kronos: there
round the islands of the blest the Ocean-breezes blow, and golden
flowers are glowing, some from the land on trees of splendour, and
some the water feedeth, with wreaths whereof they entwine their hands:
so ordereth Rhadamanthos' just decree, whom at his own right hand hath
ever the father Kronos, husband of Rhea, throned above all worlds[8].

Peleus and Kadmos are counted of that company; and the mother of
Achilles, when her prayer had moved the heart of Zeus, bare thither
her son, even him who overthrew Hector, Troy's unbending invincible
pillar, even him who gave Kyknos to death and the Ethiop son[9] of the
Morning.

Many swift arrows have I beneath my bended arm within my quiver,
arrows that have a voice for the wise, but for the multitude they need
interpreters. His art is true who of his nature hath knowledge; they
who have but learnt, strong in the multitude of words, are but as
crows that chatter vain things in strife against the divine bird of
Zeus.

Come bend thy bow on the mark, O my soul--at whom again are we to
launch our shafts of honour from a friendly mind? At Akragas will I
take aim, and will proclaim and swear it with a mind of truth, that
for a hundred years no city hath brought forth a man of mind more
prone to well-doing towards friends or of more liberal mood than
Theron.

Yet praise is overtaken of distaste, wherewith is no justice, but from
covetous men it cometh, and is fain to babble against and darken the
good man's noble deeds.

The sea-sand none hath numbered; and the joys that Theron hath given
to others--who shall declare the tale thereof?


(end poem)

(from 'The Extent Odes of Pindar' translated into English by Ernest Myers. 
1874, available in the Public Domain)
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About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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