poem index

Hymn to Dionysos

Anonymous
O Insewn God--born from Zeus' thigh--
   some folk say in Drakanon,
some in windy Ikaros,
   others say in Naxos,
or by the deep-eddying river Alpheos,
pregnant Semele bore you to thunder-loving Zeus.
Others say you were born in Thebes, Lord,
but all of them lie:
   the father of men and gods gave birth to you
far from people, hidden from white-armed Hera.
There is a certain Nysa, a towering mountain, 
   blooming with woods,
far from Phoenicia, near the streams of Egypt . . .
[missing lines]
"…People will raise many statues in your temples.
Semele, since […] was cut into three, every third year
humans will sacrifice to you a hundred perfect bulls."
So spoke the son of Kronos nodding his dark-blue brows-
the king's divine hair swirled about
his immortal head, as he shook great Olympos.
With those words, wise Zeus nodded his command.
Be gracious, Insewn, maker of maenads.
We bards sing of you first and last; there is no way
to forget you and still remember holy song.
O Dionysos, God sewn in Zeus' thigh, rejoice
with your mother Semele, whom some call Thyone.

From The Homeric Hymns: A Translation with Introduction and Notes by Diane Rayo Copyright © 2004 by the Regents of the University of California. Reprinted by permission of the University of California Press. All rights reserved.

Anonymous

by this poet

poem
There was a lady loved a swine,
     "Honey!" quoth she;
"Pig-hog, wilt thou be mine?"
     "Hoogh!" quoth he.

"I'll build thee a silver sty,
     Honey!" quoth she;
"And in it thou shalt lie!"
     "Hoogh!" quoth he.

"Pinned with a silver pin,
     Honey!" quoth she;
"That thou mayest go out and in,"
     "
poem
To my people it's as though he gave them a sacrifice:
They will destroy him if he comes among them.
   It is otherwise with us.

Wulf is on one island, I on another.
A fastness is that island, rung round with fens.
Fierce men are there on the island.
They will destroy him if he comes among them.
   It is
poem
   "Oh where ha'e ye been, Lord Randall my son?
O where ha'e ye been, my handsome young man?"
     "I ha'e been to the wild wood: mother, make my bed soon,
     For I’m weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

   "Where gat ye your dinner, Lord Randall my son?
Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young man