No False Anvil for the True Tongue

Pindar, Pythian 1.80-87

“You you speak at the magic moment,
Interweaving many ideas but briefly,
Then fewer people will carp at your words,
Since awful excess blunts urgent expectation,
And your peers are secretly annoyed
At reports of other people’s success.

But even though envy is stronger than pity.
Don’t ignore the good things. Direct your crew
With a just hand and use no false anvil
To forge your tongue.”

καιρὸν εἰ φθέγξαιο, πολλῶν πείρατα συντανύσαις
ἐν βραχεῖ, μείων ἕπεται μῶμος ἀνθρώ-
πων· ἀπὸ γὰρ κόρος ἀμβλύνει
αἰανὴς ταχείας ἐλπίδας,
ἀστῶν δ᾿ ἀκοὰ κρύφιον θυμὸν βαρύ-
νει μάλωτ᾿ ἐσλοῖσιν ἐπ᾿ ἀλλοτρίοις.
ἀλλ᾿ ὅμως, κρέσσον γὰρ οἰκτιρμοῦ φθόνος,
μὴ παρίει καλά. νώμα δικαίῳ
πηδαλίῳ στρατόν· ἀψευ-
δεῖ δὲ πρὸς ἄκμονι χάλκευε γλῶσσαν.

 theatrical scene: young (but bald) satyr holding flat basket and bearded old satyr, both draped as human artisans, at anvil and foundry - p
– Beazley Archive Pottery Database 922

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