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The Frogs   


XANTHIAS
By Zeus.
O dear, O dear, how pale I grew to see her,
But he, from fright has yellowed me all over.
DIONYSUS
Ah me, whence fall these evils on my head? on
Who is the god to blame for my destruction?
Air, Zeus's chamber, or the Foot of Time?
(A flute is played behind the scenes.)
XANTHIAS
What's the matter?
DIONYSUS
The breath of flutes.
XANTHIAS
Aye, and a whiff of torches
Breathed o'er me too; a very mystic whiff.
DIONYSUS
Then crouch we down, and mark what's going on.
CHORUS (in the distance)
O lacchus! O lacchus! O Iacchus!
XANTHIAS
I have it, master: 'tis those blessed Mystics,
Of whom he told us, sporting hereabouts.
They sing the Iacchus which Diagoras made.
DIONYSUS
I think so too: we had better both keep quiet
And so find out exactly what it is.
Enter CHORUS, who had chanted the songs of the FROGS, as initiates.
CHORUS
O Iacchus! power excelling,
here in stately temples dwelling.
O Iacchus! O lacchus!
Come to tread this verdant level,
Come to dance in mystic revel,
Come whilst round thy forehead hurtles
Many a wreath of fruitful myrtles,
Come with wild and saucy paces
Mingling in our joyous dance,
Pure and holy, which embraces
all the charms of all the Graces,
When the mystic choirs advance.
XANTHIAS
Holy and sacred queen, Demeter's daughter,
O, what a jolly whiff of pork breathed o'er me!
DIONYSUS
Hist! and perchance you'll get some tripe yourself.
CHORUS
Come, arise, from sleep awaking,
come the fiery torches shaking,
O Iacchus! O Iacchus!
Morning Star that shinest nightly.
Lo, the mead is blazing brightly,
Age forgets its years and sadness,
Aged knees curvet for gladness,
Lift thy flashing torches o'er us,
Marshal all thy blameless train,
Lead, O lead the way before us;
lead the lovely youthful Chorus
To the marshy flowery plain.
All evil thoughts and profane be still:
far hence, far hence from our choirs depart,
Who knows not well what the Mystics tell,
or is not holy and pure of heart;
Who ne'er has the noble revelry learned,

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