Bōlaka

dirt1

Ἀλλὰ γὰρ νόστου πρόφασις γλυκεροῦ
κώλυεν μεῖναι. φάτο δ’ Εὐρύπυλος Γαιαόχου παῖς ἀφθίτου Ἐννοσίδα
ἔμμεναι· γίνωσκε δ’ ἐπειγομένους· ἂν δ’ εὐθὺς ἁρπάξαις ἀρούρας
δεξιτερᾷ προτυχὸν ξένιον μάστευσε δοῦναι,
οὐδ’ ἀπίθησέ ἱν, ἀλλ’ ἥρως ἐπ’ ἀκταῖσιν θορών,
χειρί οἱ χεῖρ’ ἀντερείσαις δέξατο βώλακα δαιμονίαν.
πεύθομαι δ’ αὐτὰν κατακλυσθεῖσαν ἐκ δούρατος
ἐναλίαν βᾶμεν σὺν ἅλμᾳ
ἑσπέρας ὑγρῷ πελάγει σπομέναν. ἦ μάν νιν ὤτρυνον θαμά
λυσιπόνοις θεραπόντεσσιν φυλάξαι· τῶν δ’ ἐλάθοντο φρένες·
καί νυν ἐν τᾷδ’ ἄφθιτον νάσῳ κέχυται Λιβύας
εὐρυχόρου σπέρμα πρὶν ὥρας.
(Pindarus, Pyth. 4.32-43)

We spoke of the sweet necessity of return that stayed
our lingering. He named himself Eurypylos, son of the earthshaker immortal, Poseidon;
he understood our haste, but, tearing a clod from the soil,
proffered it in his right hand, a token of friendship.
The hero Euphamos disobeyed him not, but, vaulting ashore,
set hand in hand and accepted the magic piece of earth.
They tell me that, washed from the deck,
it has gone with the current,
at nightfall down the salt sea’s bending track. Indeed, over and again I charged
the grooms, easing their masters, to guard it well. But their hearts forgot.
And now the seed imperishable of wide
Libya is washed before its time to this island.
(tr. Richmond Lattimore)

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