Pindar (c. 518-438BC)  The Pursuit of Excellence”


He who wins, of a sudden, some noble prize
In the rich years of youth
Is raised high with hope; his manhood takes wings;
He has in his heart what is better than wealth.
But brief is the season of man's delight.

Soon it falls to the ground;
Some dire decision uproots it.
--Thing of a day! Such is man: a shadow in a dream.
Yet when god-given splendour visit him
A bright radiance plays over him, and how sweet is life!


(Pindar, Pythian 8)