No Dances or Feasts in Heaven Without You

Pindar Olympian 14

Graces who have dominion over
The waters of Kephisos and
Inhabit a land of fine horses–
Queens famous in songs from bright Orkhomenos
And overseers of the ancient Minyans,
Hear me as I pray.

With you, mortals find
All pleasing and sweet things, whether
Someone is wise, pretty, or famous.
Not even the gods can plan dances or feasts
Without the sacred Graces–
As guardians of all the acts in heaven,
They sit in thrones alongside Pythian Apollo with his golden bow
As they praise the eternal honor of the Olympian father.

Queen Aglaia and,
Song-loving Euphrosyne, children of the most powerful father,
Listen to me now. And Song-lover Thalia,
Gaze kindly upon this band
Moving gracefully for good fortune.

I have come singing for Asopihkos in the Lydian mode,
Singing in my practice because
The Minyan land has won at Olympia, thanks to you.

Go to the dark-walled home of Persephone now, Echo–
Take this wonderful news to his father.
When you see Kleodamos, tell him that his son
Crowned his youthful hair in the well-known valley of Pisa
With the wings of famous contests.”

Καφισίων ὑδάτων
λαχοῖσαι αἵτε ναίετε καλλίπωλον ἕδραν,
ὦ λιπαρᾶς ἀοίδιμοι βασίλειαι
Χάριτες Ἐρχομενοῦ, παλαιγόνων Μινυᾶν ἐπίσκοποι,
κλῦτ᾿, ἐπεὶ εὔχομαι· σὺν γὰρ ὑμῖν τά <τε> τερπνὰ καί
τὰ γλυκέ᾿ ἄνεται πάντα βροτοῖς,
εἰ σοφός, εἰ καλός, εἴ τις ἀγλαὸς ἀνήρ.
οὐδὲ γὰρ θεοὶ σεμνᾶν Χαρίτων ἄτερ
κοιρανέοντι χοροὺς
οὔτε δαῖτας· ἀλλὰ πάντων ταμίαι
ἔργων ἐν οὐρανῷ, χρυσότοξον θέμεναι πάρα
Πύθιον Ἀπόλλωνα θρόνους,
αἰέναον σέβοντι πατρὸς Ὀλυμπίοιο τιμάν.

ὦ> πότνι᾿ Ἀγλαΐα
φιλησίμολπέ τ᾿ Εὐφροσύνα, θεῶν κρατίστου
παῖδες, ἐπακοοῖτε νῦν, Θαλία τε
ἐρασίμολπε, ἰδοῖσα τόνδε κῶμον ἐπ᾿ εὐμενεῖ τύχᾳ
κοῦφα βιβῶντα· Λυδῷ γὰρ Ἀσώπιχον ἐν τρόπῳ
ἐν μελέταις τ᾿ ἀείδων ἔμολον,
οὕνεκ᾿ Ὀλυμπιόνικος ἁ Μινύεια
σεῦ ἕκατι. μελαντειχέα νῦν δόμον
Φερσεφόνας ἔλθ᾿, Ἀ-
χοῖ, πατρὶ κλυτὰν φέροισ᾿ ἀγγελίαν,
Κλεόδαμον ὄφρ᾿ ἰδοῖσ᾿, υἱὸν εἴπῃς ὅτι οἱ νέαν
κόλποις παρ᾿ εὐδόξοις Πίσας
ἐστεφάνωσε κυδίμων ἀέθλων πτεροῖσι χαίταν.

Wall painting of classic pose of the three Graces. Three nude figures standing with arms interlaced. Two face forward, the one in the middle faces back but turns her head. They are wearing garlands on their heads
1st-century A.D. Fresco depicting the Three Graces. From Pompeii, Italy. Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Archaeological Museum).

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