Pindaric Ode in honour of Olympic Rower Cath Bishop

This previously unpublished Pindaric Ode was composed in Latin by Alan Treloar (1919-2011), a well-known Australian Classical polyglot.

It was one of several he wrote in letters to me, this one in respect of my daughter, Cath Bishop, when she rowed for Great Britain in the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.

Cath went on to become World Champion in the coxless pair in 2003 in partnership with Katherine Grainger, and in 2004 they won a silver medal at the Athens Olympic Games.

Brian Bishop

Ad Catarinam

Pindarum quisquis studet aemulari
provocat stultus Nemesin, sed alta
Musa vult laudes celebrare iustas
carmine festo.

Bella Boudiccae memorare Celtas
versibus fidis decet aeva multa:
virginem regem studium Angliorum
reddere divam.

Laureas primas, Catarina, donet
terra longaevi populi decora,
gloriam remo capias perennem
flumine nostro.

Alan Treloar,  30th August 2000

To Catherine

Someone strives to equal Pindar(1);
foolishly he tempts fate;  but a noble
Muse wishes to celebrate genuine achievements
    in festive song.

It is proper for Celts to remember the wars of Boadicea
in loyal poems for many ages:
It is the concern of the English
    to make divine the maiden king(2).

May the fair land(3) of an ancient people(4)
give the first laurels, Catherine;
may you capture eternal glory
    upon our river.

Comments by Alan Treloar:

“in the manner of medieval writers in Arabic or
Sanskrit, I explain how clever I’ve been”.  
1. Horace, C.IV.ii.1
2. Elizabeth I
3. cfr. “Australia fair” in Australian national anthem.
4. cfr. reconciliation with 50,000 year residents of Australia

For more on Alan Treloar: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/eminent-linguist-fought-for-country-20110814-1isuq.html

Brian Bishop is an enthusiastic member of the Society for Neo-Latin Studies and has written an e-book : ‘Recitation of Latin Prose and Verse’

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