Demochares, then, has said all this about the adulatory spirit and conduct of the Athenians. And Duris the Samian, in the twenty-second book of his Histories, has given the very ithyphallic hymn which they addressed to him—
Behold the greatest of the gods and dearest[p. 399]
Are come to this city,
For here Demeter1 and Demetrius are
Present in season.
She indeed comes to duly celebrate
The sacred mysteries
Of her most holy daughter—he is present
Joyful and beautiful,
As a god ought to be, with smiling face
Showering his blessings round.
How noble doth he look! his friends around,
Himself the centre.
His friends resemble the bright lesser stars,
Himself is Phœbus.
Hail, ever-mighty Neptune's mightier son;
Hail, son of Venus.
For other gods do at a distance keep,
Or have no ears,
Or no existence; and they heed not us—
But you are present,
Not made of wood or stone, a genuine god.
We pray to thee.
First of all give us peace, O dearest god—
For you are lord of peace—
And crush for us yourself, for you've the power,
'This odious Sphinx;
Which now destroys not Thebes alone, but Greece—
The whole of Greece—
I mean th' Aetolian, who, like her of old,
Sits on a rock,
And tears and crushes all our wretched bodies.
Nor can we him resist.
For all th' Aetolians plunder all their neighbours;
And now they stretch afar
Their lion hands; but crush them, mighty lord,
Or send some Œdipus
Who shall this Sphinx hurl down from off his precipice,
Or starve him justly.