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as you remarked, tragedy and comedy; and another which employs the recital of the poet himself, best exemplified, I presume, in the dithyrambThe dithyramb was technically a poem in honor of Bacchus. For its more or less conjectural history cf. Pickard-Cambridge, Dithyramb, Tragedy, and Comedy. Here, however, it is used broadly to designate the type of elaborate Greek lyric which like the odes of Pindar and Bacchylides narrates a myth or legend with little if any dialogue.; and there is again that which employs both, in epic poetry and in many other places, if you apprehend me.” “I understand now,” he said, “what you then meant.” “Recall then also the preceding statement that we were done with the 'wha
Bacchus I saw in mountain glades Retired (believe it, after years!) Teaching his strains to Dryad maids, While goat-hoof'd satyrs prick'd their ears. Evoe! my eyes with terror glare; My heart is revelling with the god; 'Tis madness! Evoe! spare, O spare, Dread wielder of the ivied rod! Yes, I may sing the Thyiad crew, The stream of wine, the sparkling rills That run with milk, and honey-dew That from the hollow trunk distils; And I may sing thy consort's crown, New set in heaven, and Pentheus' hall With ruthless ruin thundering down, And proud Lycurgus' funeral. Thou turn'st the rivers, thou the sea; Thou, on far summits, moist with wine, Thy Bacchants' tresses harmlessly Dost knot with living serpent-twine. Thou, when the giants, threatening wrack, Were clambering up Jove's citadel, Didst hurl o'erweening Rhoetus back, In tooth and claw a lion fell. Who knew thy feats in dance and play Deem'd thee belike for war's rough game Unmeet: but peace and battle-fray Found thee, their centr
The man of firm and righteous will, No rabble, clamorous for the wrong, No tyrant's brow, whose frown may kill, Can shake the strength that makes him strong: Not winds, that chafe the sea they sway, Nor Jove's right hand, with lightning red: Should Nature's pillar'd frame give way, That wreck would strike one fearless head. Pollux and roving Hercules Thus won their way to Heaven's proud steep, 'Mid whom Augustus, couch'd at ease, Dyes his red lips with nectar deep. For this, great Bacchus, tigers drew Thy glorious car, untaught to slave In harness: thus Quirinus flew On Mars' wing'd steeds from Acheron's wave, When Juno spoke with Heaven's assent: “O Ilium, Ilium, wretched town! The judge accurst, incontinent, And stranger dame have dragg'd thee down. Pallas and I, since Priam's sire Denied the gods his pledged reward, Had doom'd them all to sword and fire, The people and their perjured lord. No more the adulterous guest can charm The Spartan queen: the house forsworn No more repels
Whither, Bacchus, tear'st thou me. FiIl'd with thy strength? What dens, what forests these, Thus in wildering race I see? What cave shall hearken to my melodies, Tuned to tell of Caesar's praise And throne him high the heavenly ranks among? Sweet and strange shall be my lays, A tale till now by poet voice unsung. As the Evian on the height, Roused from her sleep, looks wonderingly abroad, Looks on Thrace with snow-drifts white, And Rhodope by barbarous footstep trod, So my truant eyes admire The banks, the desolate forests. O great King Who the Naiads dost inspire, And Bacchants, strong from earth huge trees to wring! Not a lowly strain is mine, No mere man's utterance. O, 'tis venture sweet Thee to follow, God of wine, Making the vine-branch round thy temples meet!
While these events according to the laws of destiny occurred, and while the child, the twice-born Bacchus, in his cradle lay, 'Tis told that Jupiter, a careless hour, indulged too freely in the nectar cup; and having laid aside all weighty cares, jested with Juno as she idled by. Freely the god began; “Who doubts the truth? The female's pleasure is a great delight, much greater than the pleasure of a male.” Juno denied it; wherefore 'twas agreed to ask Tiresias to declare the truth, than whom none knew both male and female joys: for wandering in a green wood he had seen two serpents coupling; and he took his staff and sharply struck them, till they broke and fled. 'Tis marvelous, that instant he became a woman from a man, and so remained while seven autumns passed. When eight were told, again he saw them in their former plight, and thus he spoke; “Since such a power was wrought, by one stroke of a staff my sex was changed— again I strike!” And even as he struck the same two sna