Enter from the skene, representing Polyphemus' cave, Silenus with a rake in his hand.

apostrophizing the absent Dionysus
O Bromius, labors numberless have I had because of you, now and when I was young and able-bodied! First, when Hera drove you mad and you went off leaving behind your nurses, the mountain-nymphs;1 [5] next, when in the battle with the Earthborn Giants2 I took my stand protecting your right flank with my shield and, striking Enceladus with my spear in the center of his targe, killed him. (Come, let me see, did I see this in a dream? No, by Zeus, for I also displayed the spoils to Dionysus.)

[10] But now I am enduring a labor greater than those. For when Hera raised the Tuscan pirates3 against you to have you sold as a slave to a far country, I learned of it and took ship with my sons to find you. Taking my stand right at the stern, [15] I myself steered the double-oared ship, and my sons, sitting at the oars, made the grey sea whiten with their rowing as they searched for you, lord. And as we were rounding Cape Malea, an east wind blew down on the ship [20] and cast us to land near this crag of Aetna, where Neptune's one-eyed sons, the man-slaying Cyclopes, dwell in their remote caves. One of these caught us and keeps us as slaves in his house: the master we serve is called [25] Polyphemus. And instead of our bacchic revels we now herd the flocks of this godless Cyclops.

And so my sons, being young, are shepherding the young sheep on the distant slopes, while my orders are to remain behind, fill the watering-troughs, and sweep this house, [30] assisting this godless Cyclops at his unholy meals. And now—duty is duty—I must sweep the house with this iron rake so that I may receive my absent master, the Cyclops, [35] and his sheep in a clean cave.

Enter by Eisodos A the Chorus of satyrs, with attendants, driving sheep before them.
But now I see my sons driving the flocks this way. What is this, lads? Can it be that you have the same rhythm to your lively dance4 as when you revelled at Bacchus' side to the house of Althaea,5 [40] swaggering in to the music of the lyre?

1 Dionysus was driven mad by Hera (Apollod. 3.5.1), doubtless out of resentment of his father Zeus's infidelity.

2 The Giants were the mighty sons of Ge (Earth), who was impregnated by the blood of Ouranos (Heaven). They rose against the Olympians and were defeated.

3 Dionysus held captive on ship-board and astounding his captors by wreathing their ship with vines and ivy is a theme of vase-painting and of the seventh Homeric Hymn.

4 The sikinnis is a fast-paced dance characteristic, we are told, of satyrs and the satyr-play.

5 According to one version of her story, Dionysus was the father by her of Deianeira, wife of Heracles. This may have been treated in an earlier satyr-play.

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