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Ode 11
For Alexidamus of Metapontion Boys' Wrestling at Delphi Date unknown

Victory, giver of sweet gifts—to you alone the father ... seated on high ... in golden Olympus, [5] standing beside Zeus, you judge the achievement of excellence for immortals and mortals alike. Be gracious, daughter of Styx with her long hair, the upright judge. For your sake [10] even now Metapontion, the city honored by the gods, is filled with delight and with victory processions of young men with fine limbs. They sing the praises of the Pythian victor, the marvellous son of Phaiscus. [15] The Delos-born son of deep-waisted Leto received him with a propitious eye; and many garlands of flowers fell around Alexidamus on the plain of Cirrha [20] because of his all-conquering powerful wrestling. The sun did not see him, on that particular day, falling to the ground. And I will declare that in the sacred precinct [25] of revered Pelops, beside the beautiful stream of the Alpheus, if someone had not turned aside the straight path of justice, the gray-green olive for which all compete would have crowned his head [30] as he returned to his fatherland, calf-nurturing Italy. [For down to the earth?] he brought the young man, by his crafty wits, in the the land of lovely choruses. But either a god was responsible, or else [35] the wandering judgment of men took the highest honor out of his hands. But now Artemis of the wilds with her golden distaff, the Soother, famous for the bow, gave him shining victory. [40] To her once the son of Abas and his daughters with beautiful robes set up an altar where many prayers are offered. All-powerful Hera drove these daughters in fear from the lovely halls [45] of Proetus; she yoked their minds to a violent maddening compulsion. For, while still virgins, they entered the sanctuary of the purple-belted goddess, [50] and said that their father far surpassed in wealth the golden-haired consort of holy, widely powerful Zeus. In anger at them, she put a twisted thought into their minds, [55] and they fled to the wooded mountain with terrible screams, leaving behind the city of Tiryns and its god-built streets. For it was now the tenth year since the heroes with their bronze shields, fearless in battle, [60] had left Argos, the city loved by the gods, and lived in Tiryns with their much envied king, because an insurmountable quarrel [65] had arisen, from a slight beginning, between the brothers Proetus and Acrisius. They were destroying their people with lawless feuding and grievous battles, and the people entreated the sons of Abas [70] that, since they had as their share a land rich in barley, the younger one should be the founder of Tiryns, before they fell under ruinous compulsion. And Zeus son of Cronus, honoring the race of Danaus [75] and of horse-driving Lynceus, was willing to put an end to their hateful woes. And the mighty Cyclopes came, and toiled to build a most beautiful wall for the glorious city, where the godlike [80] far-famed heroes lived when they had left behind horse-pasturing Argos. It was from Tiryns that the dark-haired unsubdued daughters of Proetus rushed in their flight. [85] And woe overcame Proetus' heart, and an alien thought smote him. He decided to plant a double-edged sword in his chest; but his spearmen restrained him [90] with calming words and with the force of their hands. For thirteen whole months his daughters roamed wildly through the shadowy forests and fled through sheep-nurturing Arcadia. [95] But when their father came to the beautiful stream of Lusus, he washed his skin with its water and called on Leto's daughter with her crimson headdress, the ox-eyed goddess, [100] stretching his hands to the rays of the steed-swift sun, and asked her to deliver his children from their deranged miserable madness. “I will sacrifice to you twenty [105] unyoked red oxen.” And the huntress, whose father is the highest god, heard him praying. She persuaded Hera, and stopped the godless mania of the bud-garlanded girls. [110] They built her a sanctuary and an altar right away, and stained it with the blood of sheep, and set up choruses of women. From there you accompanied battle-loving Achaean men to their horse-nurturing city; [115] and with good fortune you dwell in Metapontion, golden mistress of the people. And a lovely precinct beside the fine waters of the Casas [120] ~ their ancestors established? ~ when at last, by the counsels of the blessed gods, they sacked the well-built city of Priam together with the Atreidae with their bronze breastplates. Whoever has a just mind will find, [125] throughout all time, countless deeds of valor done by the Achaeans.

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