And Pratinas the Phliasian says, that when some hired flute-players and chorus-dancers were occupying the orchestra, some people were indignant because the flute-players did not play in tune to the choruses, as was the national custom, but the choruses instead sang, keeping time to the flutes. And [p. 985] what his opinion and feelings were towards those who did this, Pratinas declares in the following hyporchema:—
What noise is this
What mean these songs of dancers now?
What new unseemly fashion
Has seized upon this stage to Bacchus sacred,
Now echoing with various noise?
Bromius is mine! is mine!
I am the man who ought to sing,
I am the man who ought to raise the strain,
Hastening o'er the hills,
In swift inspired dance among the Naiades;
Blending a song of varied strain,
Like the sweet dying swan.
You, O Pierian Muse, the sceptre sway
Of holy song:
And after you let the shrill flute resound;
For that is but the handmaid
Of revels, where men combat at the doors,
And fight with heavy fists.1
* * * * *
And is the leader fierce of bloody quarrel.
Descend, O Bacchus, on the son of Phrynæus,
The leader of the changing choir,—
Chattering, untimely, leading on
The rhythm of the changing song.
* * * * w
King of the loud triumphal dithyrambic,
Whose brow the ivy crowns,
Hear this my Doric song.