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
My dress is silent when I tread the ground 
Or stay at home or stir upon the waters.
Sometimes my trappings and the lofty air
Raise me above the dwelling-place of men,
And then the power of clouds carries me far
Above the people; and my ornaments
Loudly resound, send forth a melody
And clearly sing, when I am
poem
The man cut his throat and left his head there.
The others went to get it.
When they got there they put the head in a sack.
Farther on the head fell out onto the ground.
They put the head back in the sack.
Farther on the head fell out again.
Around the first sack they put a second one that 
   was thicker.
But
poem
Adam lay ibounden,
     Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter
     Thoght he not too long;
And all was for an appil,
     An appil that he tok,
As clerkes finden
     Wreten in here book.
Ne hadde the appil take ben,
     The appil taken ben,
Ne hadde never our lady
     A ben hevene quene.
Blessed be the time