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Bacchylides, Dithyrambs (ed. Diane Arnson Svarlien),
Ode 16 (Dithyramb 2)
[Heracles (or Deianeira?), for the Delphians]
Ode 16 (Dithyramb 2) [Heracles (or Deianeira?), for the Delphians] since Ourania on her lovely throne has sent me from Pieria a golden freighter loaded with glorious songs by the flowery Hebrus he takes delight in , or in a long-necked swan delighting his mind you come to seek the flowers of paeans, Pythian Apollo, all those which choruses of Delphians loudly sing at your glorious temple. Meanwhile we sing of how the son of Amphitryon, a bold-minded man, left Oechalia devoured by fire, and arrived at the headland with waves all around it; there he was going to sacrifice from his booty nine loud-bellowing bulls for Cenaean Zeus, lord of the wide-spread clouds, and two for the god who rouses the sea and subdues the earth, and a high-horned unyoked ox for the virgin Athena, whose eyes flash with might. Then a god, useless to fight against, wove for Deianeira, to her great sorrow, a clever scheme, when she heard the bitter news that the son of Zeu
Chorus Would that I could go to Cyprus, the island of Aphrodite, where the Loves, who soothe mortals' hearts, dwell, and to Paphos, fertilized without rain by the streams of a foreign river flowing with a hundred mouths. Lead me there, Bromius, Bromius, god of joy who leads the Bacchae, to Pieria, beautiful seat of the Muses, the holy slope of Olympus. There are the Graces, there is Desire; there it is lawful for the Bacchae to celebrate their rites.
Chorus Where on Nysa, which nourishes wild beasts, or on Corycian heights, do you lead with your thyrsos the bands of revelers? Perhaps in the deep-wooded lairs of Olympus, where Orpheus once playing the lyre drew together trees by his songs, drew together the beasts of the fields. Blessed Pieria, the Joyful one reveres you and will come to lead the dance in revelry; having crossed the swiftly flowing Axius he will bring the whirling Maenads, leaving Lydias, giver of wealth to mortals, the father who they say fertilizes the land of beautiful horses with fairest streams.
Chorus What wedding-hymn was that which raised its strains to the sound of Libyan flutes, to the music of the dancer's lyre, and the note of the pipe of reeds? It was on the day Pieria's lovely-haired choir came over the slopes of Pelion to the wedding of Peleus, beating the ground with print of golden sandals at the banquet of the gods, and hymning in dulcet strains the praise of Thetis and the son of Aeacus, over the Centaurs' hill, down woods of Pelion. There was the Dardanian boy, dainty morsel of Zeus' bed, drawing off the wine he mixed in the depths of golden bowls, Ganymede the Phrygian; while, along the gleaming sand, the fifty daughters of Nereus graced the marriage with their dancing, circling in a mazy ring.
Xerxes stayed for many days in the region of Pieria while a third part of his army was clearing a road over the Macedonian mountains so that the whole army might pass by that way to the Perrhaebian country. Now it was that the heralds who had been sent to Hellas to demand earth, some empty-handed, some bearing earth and water, returned.
These places, then, were thought by the Greeks to suit their purpose. After making a thorough survey, they concluded that the barbarians could not make use of their entire army, nor of their horsemen. They therefore resolved, that they would meet the invader of Hellas here. Then, when they heard that the Persian was in Pieria, they broke up from the Isthmus and set out with their army to Thermopylae and with their fleet to Artemisium.
On to Pieria he stepped from the upper air, and swooped down upon the sea, and then sped over the wave like a bird, the cormorant, which in quest of fish over the dread gulfs of the unresting sea wets its thick plumage in the brine. In such wise did Hermes ride upon the multitudinous waves.But when he had reached the island which lay afar, then forth from the violet sea he came to land, and went his way until he came to a great cave, wherein dwelt the fair-tressed nymph; and he found her within. A great fire was burning on the hearth, and from afar over the isle there was a fragranceof cleft cedar and juniper, as they burned; but she within was singing with a sweet voice as she went to and fro before the loom, weaving with a golden shuttle. Round about the cave grew a luxuriant wood, alder and poplar and sweet-smelling cypress,wherein birds long of wing were wont to nest, owls and falcons and sea-crows with chattering tongues, who ply their business on the sea. And right there about th