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Ode 1

Strophe 1


Numberless are the world's wonders, but none

More wonderful than man; the storm gray sea

Yields to his prows, the huge crests bear him high;

Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is graven

With shining furrows where his plows have gone

Year after year, the timeless labor of stallions.

Antistrophe 1

The light-boned birds and beasts that cling to cover,

The lithe fish lighting their reaches of dim water,

All are taken, tamed in the net of his mind;

The lion on the hill, the wild horse windy-maned,

Resign to him; and his blunt yoke has broken

The sultry shoulders of the mountain bull.

Strophe 2

Words also, and thought as rapid as air,

He fashions to his good use; statecraft is his

And his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow,

The spears of winter rain: from every wind

He has made himself secure--from all but one:

In the late wind of death he cannot stand.

Antistrophe 2

O clear intelligence force beyond all measure!

O fate of man, working both good and evil!

When the laws are kept, how proudly his city stands!

When the laws are broken, what of his city then?

Never may the anarchic man find rest at my hearth,

Never be it said that my thoughts are his thoughts.

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