Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Greece: Athens


By Pindar (c. 522–433 B.C.)

Pythian VII

Translated by H. F. Cary

ATHENS, the stately-walled, magnificent!

Proem most beauteous for Alcmæon’s race,

Whereon to lay the base

Of sacred song, their steeds’ proud ornament!

For what more eminent

Country or home, shall I in Grecia name,

Inhabited? No city, wherein fame

Sounds not Erectheus’ sons; they who for thee,

Apollo, have built up a gorgeous shrine

In Pytho the divine.

Five victories in Corinth lead me on;

One in Olympia, Jove’s, the chief of these;

And two from Cyrrha; yours, O Megacles,

And your forefathers’! At the new success

In part rejoicing, yet for this I mourn;

That beauteous deeds in envy meet return.

’T is said indeed that mortal happiness,

When most it flourisheth, to last, must be

Thus checkered with a strange variety.