More importantly, the loud groaning ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of one of the two Gorgons is here singled out and Athena is explicitly said to imitate it.
17) The inconcinnity of playing simultaneously a lament and a victory song (or shout) and the absurdity of imitating grieving Gorgons in order to celebrate a hero's victory may be lost on some of his interpreters, but were not lost on Pindar.
That process begins when Perseus leaves Seriphos and continues through his episode with the Gorgons and his return trip to Seriphos, and lasts until he finally turns the people of Seriphos into stone.
523: `At the moment of victory, when the goddess has rescued her favourite from his toils, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of the aulos counterpoints the joyful achievement with the resounding dirge ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of the Gorgons.
Segal, `The gorgon and the nightingale: the voice of female lament and Pindar's Twelfth Pythian Ode', in L.
and Burton, Pythian Odes 29, think that the phrase is intentionally ambiguous and may refer to both Gorgons and Graiai.
The transition from Perseus' "shout" at his victory over the Gorgon to his "bringing" Medusa's head to Polydectes (who had ordered him to perform this task) remains a major problem but is not insoluble.
7) Pindar's phrase, however, should mean something like "grievous suffering" (Nisetich translates it as "bitter anguish") and so would refer to the deep grief of the Gorgon sisters in their mourning for Medusa, not to Perseus in his struggle for victory.
The scholiasts, though divided on whether Perseus or the Gorgon is the subject of [GREEK TEXT OMITTED], universally understand [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] with [GREEK TEXT OMITTED] as "the third part of the sisters.
And he killed the Gorgon, and he came bearing to the islanders her head bristling with serpents as a stony death.
15) In order to emphasize the aftermath of the victory, that is, Athena's creation of the "many-headed tune" from the wailing of the surviving Gorgon sisters, Pindar fuses Perseus' victory shout, the moment of the Gorgon's death (obviously implied in the victory shout, but not actually described), and Perseus' successful return journey to Seriphos and its results (11-17).
12 My overall interpretation (Segal, "The Gorgon and the Nightingale"), written independently of Clay's, has many points of agreement on the meaning of the myth.