To Pythian Apollo
O Lord, Lycia
is yours and lovely Maeonia
, charming city by the sea, but over wave-girt Delos
you greatly reign your own self.
Leto's all-glorious son goes to rocky Pytho
, playing upon his hollow lyre, clad in divine, perfumed garments; and his lyre,
at the touch of the golden key, sings sweet. Thence, swift as thought, he speeds from earth to Olympus
, to the house of Zeus, to join the gathering of the other gods: then straightway the undying gods think only of the lyre and song, and all the Muses together, voice sweetly answering voice,
hymn the unending gifts the gods enjoy and the sufferings of men, all that they endure at the hands of the deathless gods, and how they live witless and helpless and cannot find healing for death or defence against old age. Meanwhile the rich-tressed Graces and cheerful Seasons dance with
Harmonia and Hebe and Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus, holding each other by the wrist. And among them sings one, not mean nor puny, but tall to look upon and enviable in mien, Artemis who delights in arrows, sister of Apollo.
Among them sport Ares and the keen-eyed Slayer of Argus, while Apollo plays his lyre stepping high and featly and a radiance shines around him, the gleaming of his feet and close-woven vest. And they,
even gold-tressed Leto and wise Zeus, rejoice in their great hearts as they watch their dear son playing among the undying gods.
How then shall I sing of you —though in all ways you are a worthy theme for song? Shall I sing of you as wooer and in the fields of love, how you went wooing the daughter of Azan
along with god-like Ischys the son of well-horsed Elatius, or with Phorbas sprung from Triops, or with Ereutheus, or with Leucippus and the wife of Leucippus ... you on foot, he with his chariot, yet he fell not short of Triops. Or shall I sing how at the first
you went about the earth seeking a place of oracle for men, O far-shooting Apollo? To Pieria first you went down from Olympus
and passed by sandy Lectus and Enienae and through the land of the Perrhaebi. Soon you came to Iolcus and set foot on Cenaeum in Euboea
, famed for ships:
you stood in the Lelantine plain, but it pleased not your heart to make a temple there and wooded groves. From there you crossed the Euripus, far-shooting Apollo, and went up the green, holy hills, going on to Mycalessus and grassy-bedded Teumessus,