Thursday, January 24, 2008

1st Chorus


From sacred Tmolus
I departed Asian earth and hurried to
Bromius' sweet labour, ex-
hausted, tireless, crying
out "euhoi!" to Bacchus.

Who's in the streets, who is there, who?
Let them enter sacred halls, all, keep your
mouths sanctified and pure, for
Ever do I offer the pro-
per songs to Dionysus.

blessed is he who's seen the
gods' sacred rites, who has
lived a life upright and brou-
ght his spirit clean in to the
mountains in the true puri-
fication of Bacchic ritual.

And as he observes the orgiastic
services of the Great Mother, Cybele,
brandishing in hand the thyrsus,
draped with ivy garlands, he
pays Dionysus honor.

Come Bacchae, Come Bacchae!
Bromios, a god, child of
God, Dionysus, whom you brought
Home from Phrygian peaks
To the wide-plained fields of
Greece, home, Bromios;

mother giving birth, of a
union rudely forced, bore
him shot from the womb
by Zeus' darting thunder;
and she stricken to cinders
with a bolt of lightning;

But thundering Zeus took him im-
mediately to child-birth chambers and
fastening him tight inside his
thigh wih golden bands, he
disguises it from Hera;

And bore him when the Fates
Gave to him as child the raging bull god,
And wreathed him 'round with serpents; and
So the beast-feeding Maenads wrap their wild
Prey up in bands of
Flow'ring garlands.

Ring yourselves in flowing
wreathes, O Theban mother of
Semele, covered rich with
fruit, teeming beautiful;

Rage like a Bacchant shaking frantic branches of
oak or fir-tree, clothed in sacred
garments of fawn skin,
spotted, hanging
white with locks all

B e p u r i f i e d & H o l y , c l e an s e d, b e f or e t h e G od's
s a c r e d th y r s e s.

Now the whole earth thunders in rhythm,
and the leader of your Bacchic choruses i s Bromius;
To the mountain, to the moun-
tain all;

There the whole feminine
mob awaits, driven
from their cleaning and weaving in-
sane by
D i o n y s u s

Oh secret caves of the
Kurates, sacred streams of
K r e te, where the K o r y -
bantes first dis-
covered how
To stretch hollow
drum with hide and
In ecstatic dances they mix with the sweet
breath of Phrygian flutes, as they
Place it hand for Mother
&n Rhea to beat in
Time to her worshippers' shrieking calls, t he wild
S a t y r s filled with the Goddess-
Mother, as they observe the bi-
-ennial processions which
D i o n y s o s
delights in.

When one in mountains sweet beats the
ground with frantic thyrsi, draped
in a fawn-skin garment, hunting a
stricken goat's blood, & eats of it still bleeding, as she
rushes over Lydian & Phrygian peaks, Lord
Br o m io s, (euhoi!)
As earth flows over with milk and wine, sweet rivulets of
Nectar; (O joy!)

As the one in Bacchus lifting high
the pine's blazing fire, sweet as
smoke of Syrian incense it runs
streaming from the torch, whir-
ling it races, dancing, rousing
the stragglers with his calls, his
curling locks rippling the wind as he
shouts back to the screaming:

"Come, O Bacchae,
O, come Bacchae!
With a sapling of golden-hilled Tmolus
Celebrate the God, Dionysus!"

From the thundering tympani--screams, the shouting
women exalt the god
throughout Phrygian hills and valleys,
when the melodius lute makes their holy
Revels echo with song as they wander to the
Mountain, to the mountain, raging, when suddenly
Joyous, the young sacrifice leaps willingly, as if to its feeding
Mother, it's offering, flinging tender young limb in
Bacchic Chorus.

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