'Proem' by Parmenides (circa 480 BC)

From On Nature by Parmenides, circa early 5th century BC.

The mares that carry me as far as my heart may aspire
were my escorts: they had guided me and set me on the celebrated road
of the god which carries the man of knowledge...
There was I being carried; for there the wise mares were carrying me,
straining at the chariot, and maidens were leading the way.
The axle in the axle-box roared from its socket
as it blazed- for it was driven on by two whirling
wheels on either side- while the maidens, daughters of the sun,
hastened to escort it, having left the house of Night
for the light and pushed back with their hands the veils from their heads.
Here are the gates of the paths of Night and Day,
and a lintel and a stone threshold enclose them.
They themselves, high in the air, are filled by great doors,
and all-avenging Justice holds their alternate keys,
Her the maidens appeased with soft words,
skilfully persuading her to push back for them the bolted bar
swiftly from the gates. They flew back
and made a yawning gap between the doors, swinging
in turn in their sockets the bronze pivots,
fitted with pegs and pins. And through them
the maidens held the chariot and mares straight on the highway.
And the goddess graciously received me, taking my right hand in hers; and she spoke thus and addressed me:
'Young man, companion to the immortal charioteers
with the mares who carry you as you come to my house,
I greet you. For no evil fate was sending you to travel
this road (for indeed it is far from the tread of men)
but Right and Justice. You must learn all things,
both the unwavering heart of persuasive truth
and the opinions of mortals in which there is no true trust.'