Pindar, Introduction to the 1st Pythian

Golden Lyre, rightful joint possession of Apollo and the
Muses in their locks woven with violets: first
Authority hears resplendent steps,
But the dancers persuaded by sure
Signs of the chorus-leading introductions sing
Whenever you prepare to chant a prelude
Trembling and you extinguish the darting thunder of
Eternal flame; the eagle of Zeus sleeps up-
On its thundering scepter and
Speeding wings go lax on either of his sides,

Most lordly of birds, and you pour down upon its curving head
Darkening cloud, sweet closure to bar shut eyes;
But as it sleeps raising its fluid back,
Feathers rippling, is held back by
The force of your rush. But even vi’lent Ares
After leaving behind pointed spear and sword
Warms the heart inside of his chest with slumber
And arrows also bewitch divine ones’ wits
Over the knowledge of Le-
To’s son and folds draping low from Muses’ breast.

But the living things that Zeus has chosen not to love are struck
Dumb with fear at the cries of the Pierian
Ladies both when on land and
Irresistible ocean; and he who lies in Tartarus’
Torments, enemy to the gods — Typhos with his
One-hundred heads whom the Turkish caves so well-known reared up e’en now
Truly to the sea-sweeping banks about Cumae,
Sicilian shores both weigh upon his
Many chest, the heavenly pillar which holds him in place,
Snowy Aetna that nurses frost atop its piercing peak the year long…


Chorus I – from Sophocles, Elektra

Oh child, Elektra, daughter of
Mis’rable mother: What melting, a waste!,
Of such voratious grief unful-
Fill’d, taken long ago by deceiving mother
In wicked tricks — betrayed by evil’s hand, do you
Always cry for Agamemnon? Let perpetrators so
Perish if right is that I dare say!
You children of noble ones,
Who have come as consolation for my distress;
I know, am also aware of these facts: What does
Not escape me? — I will not abandon, no I
Won’t stop shouting out wretched grief for my poor father.
But, oh! You ex-
Change ev’ry kind, type of friendliness for favor
You must let me come undone
My pain, now I beg.

But surely you’ll not resurrect
Your father from death’s universal lake
By screaming or crying prayers;
No, from common cries of grief always calling out
Unbearable, distressing pain you turn into
Nothing isn’t release from harsh, suffocating evils.
What share of troubles do you grant me?

An infant that always for-
Gets whose parents have departed to leave her. Tho’
The mournful tune has collected my heart and mind,
Which always makes the willows mourn-fully lament
With terrified nightingale, god’s own messenger
& oh — suffer-
Ing Niobe I take you as woodland God of
Grief who, in your tomb of stone,
Always do you weep!

It’s not solely yours,
Child, mortals’ wailing din of grief
That you are more, too inward over those in-
Side your home from same origin & blood in
Which Chrysotemis and Ifianassa live to this day hid-
Den also blessed, a grieving
Youth whom the famed land of
Mycenae will one day take
Back noble his own homeland happily having
Seen through kind, guiding step of Zeus this country, Orestes!
‘s why I wait for him unceasingly barren and
Suffering unwed always I wander, go
Sopping with tears endlessly carry ever my
Doom is made of troubles; and my fate – which he has
Experienced and learned – does he forget. But what
Word of news do I receive that is not a trick?
& in yearning eternal —
But he longs not enough to appear.

Take heart’s courage child,
For me, still is God in heaven
Great — who carrying conducts all things and rules;
And in imparting him your bilious rage
Must you neither surfeit on anger nor forget whom you hate:
Kindly time is a handy god.
But neither’s he who holds the
Oxen-grazed hill near Delphi,
Agamemnon’s child, yet to return regardless
Nor has the Chieftain deified throughout the Underworld
But the bulk of life has already left me forsaken
Hopeless living and I have not enough strength,
Whichever she falls in tears without children is
Whose beloved man stands not in defense of her;
No, as some alien stranger I manage my
Father’s palace wastefully unworthy & so thus
Arm’d with, in unseemly
Garb stand around tables seem empty.

Sorrow’s cry for voyage home
And sorrowing at ancestral
Abodes when the strike of brazen blade tore in-
To him; cunning it was devised,
Lasciviousness the preparations made,
Terribly clever did they beget a terrifying trickery in kind.
Then whether it were a god or some man,
He it was who did this…
Oh that most heinously despised day of
All has arrived, hateful to me;
And night, dead weights’ distress of un-
Utt’rable feast:
Look and see, my father dear!,
Those lowly deaths from a pair of paired hands
Which steal, have seized my liveliness ‘s
Captive and they have ruined me:
Would that the greatest God of Olympos
Give punishment to suffer recompense
That they never may dismiss glorious trappings
For such acts as they’ve accomplished!

Will that you no further cry.
Are you unaware from what kind
Of manner you presently fall so
Ignominously into ruin?
A very bit too much of woes you acquire
In constant labor pains your soul’s
Sadness makes conflicts, but these rivalries aren’t
Strong enough to fight power.
Daring in danger I was forced,
Recall? My mood does not forget.
No, in but dire chance shall not accept
My being ruined
While life is clinging to me.
For by whose ever, oh beloved loving kin,
Opportune perceiving might I
Hear a worthy word to profit?
Give release, release me you comforters!
But these things ever will’ve been relentless;
Never will I yet abandon my labor in-
Finite, I do sing this mourning.

Then, though I mean well & speak
As faithful, a mother were
That you not bear losses to ruin
I’d be shamed for these things and not
(should I cling to good as use) live
With them at peace if I have to re-
Strain the flights of piercing cries for dis-
Respecting my forebears.
For if the man who died is but earth and no-thing,
He must be suffering;
Would they not pay back
Again recompense for murder,
Holiness and just-
Ice will bleed away from all mortals.