Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chorus - Prayer to the Thunder God


Daughter of Achelous, the
Blessed maiden, virgin Dirce,
you received once in your streams the
infant son of Thund'ring Zeus
when he snatched him from heavens' fire, father Zeus
took him in his holy thigh and shouted thundering:

"Come, Dithyrambos, enter in-
to this my masculine womb;
I will make Thebes call you by this name,
o Bacchic One shining forth!"

You always, oh blessed Dirce,
Hold me back when I try to touch
th'ivy-crown'd thyrsus to your stream.
Why refuse me? Why do you flee?
By the grace of Dionysus'
Gift of wine, the clust'ring grape, I
Swear that you will be in care of Bromios.

It appears now, born of the
native land, sprung from the serpent,
Pentheus who father Echion
bore from earth, a fearsome mon-
ster unnatural, not at all a mortal man, a
murderous giant--a tyrant who fights against the gods;
Who will soon tie me, Bromios'
servant, in binding knots and
Hold me in Pen-theus' palace
With my sisters, Bacchic Maenads
Hidden in the Prison's darkness.

Look upon these things, oh Zeus' son
Dionysus, your prophets lock├Ęd
Up in mortal dangers of need.
Come to us now, shaking golden
Sacred staffs of Mount Olympus,
Put a stop to this man's mur'drous arrogance

Where on Nysa, mother of wild
Beasts, do you then lead with thyrsus
The thiasoi, Dionysus,
Or on Corcyrean peaks?
Maybe in the Wooded precints of Olympos,
Where Orpheus Once by playing Gorgeous music
With his guitar Brought together
Trees and woodland Beasts with his songs.

B l e s s e d P i e r i a,
Euios will Honor you and
Dancing sacred Bacchic service,
Overstepping The swiftflowing
Stream of Axios Will come leading

Twirling Maenads and Lydias, who I hear gives hap-
piness to mortals, and enriches horse-pastured
Land wi'th' most Beaut'ous waters.

D: Oh!
Hear my voice now hear me speaking:
I-o Bacchae! I-o Bacchae!
Ch: What is this, what, from where does this cry
of 'Euios' come upon me?
D: Oh, now again I call on you,
Semele's son, the son of Zeus.
Ch: Oh my mas-ter, oh my master--
Now come closer to the holy
thiasoi, O Bromios, Bromios!

D: Shake the ground's surfaces, Mistress of Earth, quake!
Ah, ah!
Ch: Quickly will Pentheus' royal halls be shaken
Down to their foundations and Dionysus
be all through the palace.
Honor him now
Oh now we do!
There, did you see how the beams of stone upon the
columns split, cracking? Bromios is stirring up
th'house's cry inside the walls!
D: Light it aflame, burning torch of the lightning and
Burn it with flame, burn it down to the ground, the house!

Ah, ah!
Ch: Do you see it?, behold how the
Flame all around Semele's sacred tomb crackles and
Burns, the fire lightning-struck left long ago by
Zeus' thund'ring.
Throw yourselves to
The ground, throw your bodies
Trembling to the Earth!

For your ruler will come upon these halls, turn them
Upsideown, your ruler Zeus' son.

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