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THE FIRST OLYMPIC ODE.
To HIERo of SYRACUSE, VICTOR IN THE HORSE RACE.
CAN earth, or fire, or liquid air,
Over sheep clad Sicily Who the righteous sceptre beareth, Every flower of virtue’s tree Wove in various wreath he weareth,-But the bud of poesy Is the fairest flower of all; Which the bards, in social glee, Strow round Hiero's wealthy hall.— The harp on yonder pin suspended, Sieze it, boy, for Pisa's sake, And that good steed's, whose thought will wake A joy with anxious fondness blended:— No sounding lash his sleek side rended: By Alpheus' bride, with feet of flame, Self-driven to the goal he tended: And earned the olive wreath of fame For that dear lord, whose righteous name The sons of Syracusa tell:— Who loves the generous courser well: Beloved himself by all who dwell In Pelop's Lydian colony.— —Of earth-embracing Neptune, he The darling, when, in days of yore, All lovely from the caldron red By Clotho's spell delivered, The youth an ivory shoulder bore.—
—Well,—these are tales of mystery !—
But if we dare the deeds rehearse Of those that aye endure, *T were meet that in such dangerous verse Our every word were pure. Then, son of Tantalus, receive A plain unvarnished lay. My song shall elder fables leave, And of thy parent say, That when in heaven a favored guest, He called the gods in turns to feast On Sipylus, his mountain home :The sovereign of the ocean foam, —Can mortal form such favor prove 2– Rapt thee on golden car above To highest house of mighty Jove; To which, in after day,
Came golden-haired Ganymede,
And when no earthly tongue could tell .