I'm sorry lovely readers. It's a poetry day today as I am just completely swamped. Today, i would like to share a poem by ancient Hellenic poet Simonides of Keos (Σιμωνίδης ὁ Κεῖος). Simonides (556 – 468 BC) was a Hellenic lyric poet, born at Ioulis on Keos. The scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets, along with Bacchylides (his nephew) and Pindar (reputedly a bitter rival). Both Bacchylides and Pindar benefited from his innovative approach to lyric poetry and he was more involved than either of them in the major events and personalities of their times. His fame owes much to traditional accounts of his colourful life, as one of the wisest of men, as an inventor of a system of mnemonics and also of some letters of the Hellenic alphabet (ω, η, ξ, ψ). His fame as a poet rests largely on his ability to present basic human situations with affecting simplicity.

Today only glimpses of his poetry remain, either in the form of papyrus fragments or quotations by ancient literary figures, yet new fragments continue to be unearthed by archaeologists at Oxyrhynchus, an archaeological site in Upper Egypt, located about 160 km south-southwest of Cairo, in the governorate of Al Minya. It is considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites ever discovered. For the past century, the area around Oxyrhynchus has been continually excavated, yielding an enormous collection of papyrus texts dating from the time of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods of Egyptian history. Among the texts discovered at Oxyrhynchus are plays of Menander, fragments from the Gospel of Thomas, and fragments from Euclid's Elements.

Virtue - Simonides of Keos

Ἐστί τις λόγος τὰν Ἀρετὰν ναίειν
δυσαμβάτοισ' ἐπὶ πέτραις,
ἐγγὺς δέ μιν θεῶν χῶρον ἁγνὸν ἀμφέπειν·
οὐδὲ πάντων βλεφάροισι θνατῶν
ἔσοπτος, ᾧ μὴ δακέθυμος ἱδρὼς
ἔνδοθεν μόλῃ,
ἵκῃ τ' ἐς ἄκρον ἀνδρείας.

There is a saying that virtue lies
upon inaccessible rocks
and is all around near the holy place of gods themselves:
it is not visible to all mortals’ eyes,
but only to those whose heart-eating sweat
is coming from within,
leading them to the summit of manliness.