Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FROGS: HYMN OF THE INITIATES, by ARISTOPHANES

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THE FROGS: HYMN OF THE INITIATES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here in thy home we await thy tread
Last Line: We had a welcome for them all.

HERE in thy home we await thy tread,
O come Iacchus of high renown,
Iacchus, Iacchus!
Dance o'er this meadow, shake on thy head
The berries that cluster, thy myrtle crown.
And lead with the beat of thy tireless feet
The holy bands in mystic rite,
The dance of wantonness and delight,
Where the Graces find their chiefest pleasure,
Thy hallowed worshippers' sacred measure.

Bravely forward, mystic band,
Beat upon this meadow-land;
Jesting, laughing,
Gaily chaffing,
Visit every flowery dell,
Now we've breakfasted so well.

Onward! See ye nobly raise
High the Saviour Maiden's praise.
Sing aloud,
She hath vowed
To protect our country still,
Though Thorycion wish us ill.

And now to her who gives earth fruit, Demeter, queen on high,
Sing a new song, adorning it with heavenly melody.

Queen of sacred ritual,
Save the choirs that praise thee;
Stand Demeter by us all,
Grant that safely all the day
I may dance and I may play.
Homage let me, much in jest,
Much in earnest, raise thee;
Sport and play be worthiest,
So may I, thy revels run,
Wear thy garlands truly won.

Call him too hither, call him in your song,
The god, young and lovely, to speed this dancing throng.
Iacchus high in glory, thou whose day
Of all is merriest, hither, help our play;
Show, as we throne thee at thy Maiden's side,
How light to thee are our long leagues of way.
Iacchus, happy dancer, be our guide.

Thyself, that poorest men thy joy should share,
Didst rend thy robe, thy royal sandal tear,
That feet unshod might dance, and robes rent wide
Wave in thy revel with no after care.
Iacchus, happy dancer, be our guide.

Lo there! but now across the dance apace
A maiden tripped, a maiden fair of face,
Whose tattered smock and kerchief scarce could hide
The merry bosom peeping from its place.
Iacchus, happy dancer, be our guide.

On, to the fields of roses,
The meadows gay with flowers;
Old custom so disposes,
Dance out the merry hours.
Beside us go the Muses blest
Uniting us in song and jest.

The sun to us is giving
Alone his happy ray,
For holy was our living,
And we have learnt the Way;
Did citizen or stranger call,
We had a welcome for them all.

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