Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chorus - Piety & Dionysus


Holiness, Mother of Gods
Holiness, you who are borne
over th'earth on golden wing,
Do you hear what Pentheus says?
Do you not hear the unholy
outrage to Bromios, the son of

Semele, the divinity who is
Crowned with ivy covered
Gladness first of immortals? Whose things are these:

Dancing in the choruses,
With pipe, to laugh, make
Stop all of our worries
Whenever the grape's pleasure
Shimmers at the feast of Immortals, and
in ivy-clad festivals the
winebowl covers men over with slumber.

The end result of unrestrain'd
Mouths and lawless folly is
always the gravest misfortune
And the good & peaceful life,
The life of understanding,
remains forever firm and un-

Shaken by storm: it holds up houses.
And though the Immortals dwell in th'
Etherial sky, still they watch over mortals.

Cleverness is not wisdom;
Thinking heavenly
Thoughts, short life; in that case,
Who, in hunting greater things,
Would not be content with present fortune?
These are ways of men insane, with-
out understanding, so it seems to me.

Would I could come to Cyprus,
Aphrodite's belov'd isle
where the spellbinding Loves minis-
ter, soothing mortal souls, to
The river Paphos, which an hun-
dred foreign flowing streams do feed
Fruitfully, without rain's drop;
And Pieria where the Muses hold
their holy seat, unrivall'd beauty,
Olympus' sacred slope, oh!
Take me there, Bromios, Bromios, leader
in Bacchus' piercing cry; there
the Graces, there Desire, there lawfully do the Bac-
chae celebrate their myst'ries.

The god who is Zeus' son,
Welcomes festivities and
loves Peace, who showers prosperous
on us, nourishing the young.
Equally to the blessed man
and to the poorer one he gives
Wine's gift of painless pleasure;
And hates who does not care for these:
living a life, day and kindly nights,
a life of happiness, and
to hold a heart and mind upright and wise
away from mens' excesses.
What most people consider lowly and take as their own,
this always I approve of.

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