For Ergoteles of Himera
Long Foot Race
466 B. C
I entreat you, child of Zeus the Deliverer, saving Fortune, keep protecting Himera, and make her powerful. For by your favor swift ships are steered on the sea, and on dry land rushing battles
and assemblies where counsel is given. But men's expectations are often tossed up and then back down, as they cleave the waves of vain falsehood.
Never yet has any man on earth found a reliable token of what will happen from the gods. Our understanding of the future is blind.
And therefore many things fall out for men contrary to their judgement, bringing to some reversal of delight, while others, having encountered grievous storms, in a short time exchange their troubles for high success.
Son of Philanor, truly, like a cock that fights at home, even
the fame of your swift feet would have shed its leaves ingloriously beside your native hearth, if hostile civil strife had not deprived you of your Cnossian fatherland. But as things are, Ergoteles, having been crowned with garlands at Olympia
, and twice from Pytho
, and at the Isthmus, you exalt the hot baths of the Nymphs, while keeping company with them beside your own fields.