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Ode 9
For Automedes of Phlius Pentathlon at Nemea Date unknown

Graces with golden distaffs, give fame, which moves the minds of men; for the divinely inspired prophet of the violet-eyed Muses is ready to sing the praises of Phlius and [5] the flourishing plain of Nemean Zeus, where white-armed Hera reared the sheep-slaughtering, deep-voiced lion, the first of Heracles' far-famed labors. [10] There the heroes with red shields, the best of the Argives, held games for the first time in honor of Archemorus, whom a fiery-eyed monstrous dragon killed in his sleep: a sign of the slaughter to come. [15] Powerful fate! The son of Oicles could not persuade them to go back to the streets thronged with good men. Hope robs men [of their sense]: it was she who then sent Adrastus son of Talaus [20] to Thebes ... to Polyneices ... The mortal men who crown their golden hair with the triennial garland from those glorious games in Nemea are illustrious; [25] and now a god has given it to the victorious Automedes, for he stood out among the pentathletes as the shining moon in the mid-month night sky outshines the light of the stars. [30] In such a way, amid the vast circling crowd of the Greeks, did he display his marvellous body, hurling the wheel-shaped discus, and raise a shout from the people as he flung the shaft of the dark-leaved elder-tree [35] from his hand into the steep sky. He executed the flashing movement of wrestling, and brought strong-limbed bodies down to the earth with such high-spirited strength, then returned to the dark-whirling waters of the Asopus, [40] whose fame has reached every land, even the farthest reaches of the Nile. And the women skilled with the spear who live by the fair-flowing stream of Thermodon, daughters of horse-driving Ares, [45] have met with your descendants, much-envied lord of rivers, and so has Troy, the city of high gates. Countless reports of your offspring tread wide paths everywhere, of your daughters [50] with shining belts, whom the gods established, with good fortune, as founders of cities that were never to be sacked. Who does not know the well-built city of dark-haired Thebes, [55] or renowned Aegina, who went to the bed of great Zeus and bore the hero ... who ... the land of the Achaeans ... trials ... [60] ... with beautiful robe ... and Peirene with her twisted garland, and as many other [65] honorable daughters of the ancient resounding river who were overcome in the glorifying beds of gods. ... city ... victory ... the cries of flutes ... [70] ... to speak well of golden, violet-haired Cypris, the glorious mother of unbending passions for mortals [75] ... hymn ... ... even for one who is dead [80] ... everlasting time, would always declare to later generations your victory at Nemea. A fine deed which attains genuine songs of praise is stored up on high with the gods. [85] With the true remembrance of men, the finest adornment of the [deep-waisted] Muses is left behind even [after death]. There are many ... of men; but the mind of the gods distinguishes [90] what is hidden in the darkness of night ... and the better ... [95] ... few men ... what will be. ... gave ... grace ... and Dionysus ... city honored by the gods ... to dwell ... [100] golden-sceptered ... whoever takes a fine thing ... praise ... for the son of Timoxenos sing praises, with processions [of young men], for his victory in the pentathlon.

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