A True Note of Praise

Pindar, Nemean 7. 61-69

“I am a guest here, holding off shadowy blame–
I will praise my dear friend and bring him
Real glory like streams of water.
This is the correct payment for good people

If any Achaean man approaches he will not criticize me,
Even one living beyond the Ionian sea.

I rely on hospitality too–and I shine bright
In the sight of these townspeople because I haven’t cross a line
Once I removed everything forced on me from my way.
Let the rest of time come kindly.

Someone who knows me will inform
If I ever near a corrupt word with a false tune.”

ξεῖνός εἰμι· σκοτεινὸν ἀπέχων ψόγον,
ὕδατος ὥτε ῥοὰς φίλον ἐς ἄνδρ᾿ ἄγων
κλέος ἐτήτυμον αἰνέσω·
ποτίφορος δ᾿ ἀγαθοῖσι μισθὸς οὗτος.
ἐὼν δ᾿ ἐγγὺς Ἀχαιὸς οὐ μέμψεταί μ᾿ ἀνήρ
Ἰονίας ὑπὲρ ἁλὸς οἰ-
κέων, καὶ προξενίᾳ πέποιθ᾿, ἔν τε δαμόταις
ὄμματι δέρκομαι λαμπρόν, οὐχ ὑπερβαλών,
βίαια πάντ᾿ ἐκ ποδὸς ἐρύσαις· ὁ δε λοιπὸς εὔφρων
ποτὶ χρόνος ἕρποι. μαθὼν δέ τις ἀνερεῖ,
εἰ πὰρ μέλος ἔρχομαι ψάγιον ὄαρον ἐννέπων.

Color photograph of a vase painting. A woman plays a pipe on the left side; a man leans back with his hand on his head listening on the right
Column crater in red figure, ca 420 BC, Pantoxena Painter. Side Aː Symposium scene, youth and female double-flute player, detail. Archaeological Museum of Agrigento, C 1582. from Wikimedia commons

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