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The Frogs   


or danced the dance of the Muses high;
or shared in the Bacchic rites which old
bull-eating Cratinus's words supply;
Who vulgar coarse buffoonery loves,
though all untimely the they make;
Or lives not easy and kind with all,
or kindling faction forbears to slake,
But fans the fire, from a base desire
some pitiful gain for himself to reap;
Or takes, in office, his gifts and bribes,
while the city is tossed on the stormy deep;
Who fort or fleet to the foe betrays;
or, a vile Thorycion, ships away
Forbidden stores from Aegina's shores,
to Epidaurus across the Bay
Transmitting oar-pads and sails and tar,
that curst collector of five per cents;
The knave who tries to procure supplies
for the use of the enemy's armaments;
The Cyclian singer who dares befoul
the Lady Hecate's wayside shrine;
The public speaker who once lampooned
in our Bacchic feasts would, with heart malign,
Keep nibbling away the Comedians' pay;-
to these I utter my warning cry,
I charge them once, I charge them twice,
I charge them thrice, that they draw not nigh
To the sacred dance of the Mystic choir.
But ye, my comrades, awake the song,
The night-long revels of joy and mirth
which ever of right to our feast belong.
Advance, true hearts, advance!
On to the gladsome bowers,
On to the sward, with flowers
Embosomed bright!
March on with jest, and jeer, and dance,
Full well ye've supped to-night.
March, chanting loud your lays,
Your hearts and voices raising,
The Saviour goddess praising
Who vows she'll still
Our city save to endless days,
Whate'er Thorycion's will.
Break off the measure, and change the time;
and now with chanting and hymns adorn
Demeter, goddess mighty and high,
the harvest-queen, the giver of corn.
O Lady, over our rites presiding,
Preserve and succour thy choral throng,
And grant us all, in thy help confiding,
To dance and revel the whole day long;
And much in earnest, and much in jest,
Worthy thy feast, may we speak therein.
And when we have bantered and laughed our best,
The victor's wreath be it ours to win.
Call we now the youthful god,
call him hither without delay,
Him who travels amongst his chorus,
dancing along on the Sacred Way.
O, come with the joy of thy festival song,
O, come to the goddess, O, mix with our throng
Untired, though the journey be never so long.
O Lord of the frolic and dance,
lacchus, beside me advance!

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