For Melissus of Thebes
Chariot Race at Nemea
If any man has good fortune, either in famous contests or by the strength of his wealth, yet restrains troublesome ambition in his mind, he is worthy to be joined with his townsmen's praises. Zeus, great excellence attends on mortals
from you. Greater prosperity lives with those who revere you; but it does not keep company with crooked minds, flourishing equally for all time.
As a recompense for glorious deeds, it is right to celebrate a noble man, and it is right to exalt him in victory-songs with the gentle Graces. Yes, in two contests Melissus
has had a share of good fortune, to turn his heart to sweet joyfulness; he received garlands in the glens of the Isthmus, and in the valley of the deep-chested lion he had Thebes
when he was victorious in horse-racing. He does not dishonor the inborn excellence he has from his ancestors.
Surely you know of the ancient glory of Cleonymus in the chariot-races. And, being related to the Labdacids on their mother's side, they followed a path of wealth with the toil of their four-horse teams. But the whirling days of a man's lifetime change many things. Only the children of the gods are unwounded.