Εἰ δὲ δή τιν’ ἄνδρα θνατὸν Ὀλύμπου σκοποί
ἐτίμασαν, ἦν Τάνταλος οὗτος· ἀλ-
λὰ γὰρ καταπέψαι
μέγαν ὄλβον οὐκ ἐδυνάσθη, κόρῳ δ’ ἕλεν
ἄταν ὑπέροπλον, ἅν τοι πατὴρ ὕπερ
κρέμασε καρτερὸν αὐτῷ λίθον,
τὸν αἰεὶ μενοινῶν κεφαλᾶς βαλεῖν
ἔχει δ’ ἀπάλαμον βίον τοῦτον ἐμπεδόμοχθον
μετὰ τριῶν τέταρτον πόνον, ἀθανάτους ὅτι κλέψαις
νέκταρ ἀμβροσίαν τε
δῶκεν, οἷσιν ἄφθιτον
θέν νιν. εἰ δὲ θεὸν ἀνήρ τις ἔλπεταί
τι λαθέμεν ἔρδων, ἁμαρτάνει.
(Pindar, Ol. 1.54-64)
If they who watch on Olympos have honored
any man, that was Tantalos; but he was not
able to swallow his great fortune, and for his high stomach
drew a surpassing doom when our father
hung the weight of the stone above him.
He waits ever the stroke at his head and is divided from joy.
That life is too much for his strength; he is buckled fast in torment,
agony fourth among three others, because he stole
and gave to his own fellowship
that ambrosia and nectar
wherewith the gods made him immortal. If any man thinks to swindle
God, he is wrong.
(tr. Richard Lattimore)