Phellos

fishing net with corks

Εὐανθέα δ’ ἀναβάσομαι στόλον ἀμφ’ ἀρετᾷ
κελαδέων. νεότατι μὲν ἀρήγει θράσος
δεινῶν πολέμων· ὅθεν φαμὶ καὶ σὲ τὰν ἀπείρονα δόξαν εὑρεῖν,

τὰ μὲν ἐν ἱπποσόαισιν ἄνδρεσσι μαρνάμενον,
τὰ δ’ ἐν πεζομάχαισι· βουλαὶ δὲ πρεσβύτεραι
ἀκίνδυνον ἐμοὶ ἔπος σὲ ποτὶ πάντα λόγον
ἐπαινεῖν παρέχοντι. χαῖρε. τόδε μὲν κατὰ Φοίνισσαν ἐμπολὰν
μέλος ὑπὲρ πολιᾶς ἁλὸς πέμπεται·
τὸ Καστόρειον δ’ ἐν Αἰολίδεσσι χορδαῖς θέλων
ἄθρησον χάριν ἑπτακτύπου
φόρμιγγος ἀντόμενος.
γένοι’ οἷος ἐσσὶ μαθών· καλός τοι πίθων παρὰ παισίν, αἰεὶ

καλός. ὁ δὲ Ῥαδάμανθυς εὖ πέπραγεν, ὅτι φρενῶν
ἔλαχε καρπὸν ἀμώμητον, οὐδ’ ἀπάταισι θυμὸν τέρπεται ἔνδοθεν,
οἷα ψιθύρων παλάμαις ἕπετ’ αἰεὶ βροτῷ.
ἄμαχον κακὸν ἀμφοτέροις διαβολιᾶν ὑποφάτιες,
ὀργαῖς ἀτενὲς ἀλωπέκων ἴκελοι.
κέρδει δὲ τί μάλα τοῦτο κερδαλέον τελέθει;
ἅτε γὰρ εννάλιον πόνον ἐχοίσας βαθύν
σκευᾶς ἑτέρας, ἀβάπτιστός εἰμι φελλὸς ὣς ὑπὲρ ἕρκος ἅλμας.
(Pindar, Pyth. 2.62-81)

I shall mount the wreathed ship to speak aloud
your praise. Your youth is staunch in valor to endure
stark battle; whence I say you have found glory that knows no measure

in striving against those who rode horses in battle
and the fighting footranks also. But your elder counsels
set me free to speak forth
in your praise, a word without peril
against any man’s contention. Hail, then! This melody is sent you
like Phoenician ware over the gray sea.
Be fain to behold and welcome the Kastor-chant
on Aiolian strings, by grace
of the seven-stringed lyre.
Learn what you are and be such. See, the ape to children is a pretty thing, pretty indeed.

But Rhadamanthys has done well, to reap
a blameless harvest of the mind, without joy of deception at the inward heart,
such as ever befalls a man by action of those who whisper.
To both sides the speakers of slander are an evil beyond control.
They are minded like foxes, utterly.
But what good then befalls the greedy fox of his slyness?
As when the rest of the gear founders in the sea’s
depth, I, the cork at the net, ride not drenched in the brine.
(tr. Richmond Lattimore)

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