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…


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