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

Greece: Thebæ (Thebes)


By Pindar (c. 522–433 B.C.)

(From Isthmian VII)
Translated by H. F. Cary

IN whom, O Thebes, of all the host,

In antique days renowned,

That trod thy sacred ground,

Hath thy blest spirit joyed the most?

Whether when first thou gav’st to light

Him, who his seat possesses

Next timbreled Ceres in those regions bright,

Bacchus of wide-clustering tresses?

Or at the night’s mid hour,

When in a golden shower

The mightiest of the gods receiving,

Thou brought’st him to Amphitryon’s bower,

With that fair bride the Herculean germin leaving?

Or in the ample mind

Of thy Tiresias? or the might

Of Iolaus, warrior knight?

Or theirs, who from the furrows rose,

Clashing their spears in hostile rows?

Or when thou sentest from the stormy fight

Adrastus home to Argian fields again,

Leaving on the battle plain

His myriad friends behind?

Or when that Dorian colony

Thou on their firm-fixed base

Didst in Laconia place;

And Pytho’s oracle,

In Amyclæan turrets, gave to dwell

The sons of Ægeus, sprung from thee?