Sunday, May 10, 2015


Invitation to the Dance

Aristophanes, Clouds 563-574, 595-606 (tr. Jeffrey Henderson):
High guardian of the gods,
Zeus the great chieftain,
I invite first to my dance;        565
and the hugely strong Keeper of the Trident,
wild upheaver
of land and salty sea;
and our own father of glorious name,
most august Empyrean, nourisher of all life;        570
and the Charioteer, who
covers the plain of earth
with dazzling rays, a mighty deity
among gods and mortals.


Join me as well, Phoebus, Lord        595
of Delos, who dwell on Cynthus'
sheer escarpment of rock;
and you, blest Maiden, who dwell at Ephesus
in the golden house, where Lydian maidens
greatly revere you;        600
and our own native goddess, wielder of the aegis, guardian of the city;
and he who haunts Parnassus' rock
and glows in the light of pine torches,
eminent among Delphic bacchants,        605
the reveller Dionysus.

ὑψιμέδοντα μὲν θεῶν
    Ζῆνα τύραννον εἰς χορὸν
    πρῶτα μέγαν κικλήσκω·        565
τόν τε μεγασθενῆ τριαίνης ταμίαν,
    γῆς τε καὶ ἁλμυρᾶς θαλάσ-
    σης ἄγριον μοχλευτήν·
καὶ μεγαλώνυμον ἡμέτερον πατέρ'
    Αἰθέρα σεμνότατον, βιοθρέμμονα πάντων·        570
τόν θ᾿ ἱππονώμαν, ὃς ὑπερ-
    λάμπροις ἀκτῖσιν κατέχει
    γῆς πέδον, μέγας ἐν θεοῖς
    ἐν θνητοῖσί τε δαίμων.


ἀμφί μοι αὖτε Φοῖβ' ἄναξ        595
    Δήλιε, Κυνθίαν ἔχων
    ὑψικέρατα πέτραν·
ἥ τ' Ἐφέσου μάκαιρα πάγχρυσον ἔχεις
    οἶκον, ἐν ᾧ κόραι σε Λυ-
    δῶν μεγάλως σέβουσιν·        600
ἥ τ' ἐπιχώριος ἡμετέρα θεὸς
    αἰγίδος ἡνίοχος, πολιοῦχος Ἀθάνα·
Παρνασσίαν θ' ὃς κατέχων
    πέτραν σὺν πεύκαις σελαγεῖ
    Βάκχαις Δελφίσιν ἐμπρέπων        605
    κωμαστὴς Διόνυσος.
Some analysis:

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