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The Frogs   


For fun, and for cheapness, our dress thou hast rent,
Through thee we may dance to the top of our bent,
Reviling, and jeering, and none will resent.
O Lord of the frolic and dance,
lacchus, beside me advance!
A sweet pretty girl I observed in the show,
Her robe had been torn in the scuffle, and lo,
There peeped through the tatters a bosom of snow.
O Lord of the frolic and dance,
lacchus, beside me advance!
DIONYSUS
Wouldn't I like to follow on, and try
A little sport and dancing?
XANTHIAS
Wouldn't I?
CHORUS
Shall we all a merry joke
At Archedemus poke,
Who has not cut his guildsmen yet, though seven years old;
Yet up among the dead
He is demagogue and head
And contrives the topmost place of the rascaldom to hold?
And Cleisthenes, they say,
Is among the tombs all day,
Bewailing for his lover with a lamentable whine.
And Callias, I'm told,
Has become a sailor bold,
And casts a lion's hide o'er his members feminine.
DIONYSUS
Can any of you tell
Where Pluto here may dwell,
For we, sirs, are two strangers who were never here before?
CHORUS
O, then no further stray,
Nor again inquire the way,
For know that ye have journeyed to his very entrance-door.
DIONYSUS
Take up the wraps, my lad.
XANTHIAS
Now is not this too bad?
Like "Zeus's Corinth," he "the wraps" keeps saying o'er and o'er.
CHORUS
Now wheel your sacred dances through the glade
with flowers bedight,
All ye who are partakers of the holy festal rite;
And I will with the women and the holy maidens go
Where they keep the nightly vigil, an auspicious
light to show.
Now haste we to the roses,
And the meadows full of posies,
Now haste we to the meadows
In our own old way,
In choral dances blending,
In dances never ending,
Which only for the holy
The Destinies array.
O, happy mystic chorus,
The blessed sunshine o'er us
On us alone is smiling,
In its soft sweet light:
On us who strove forever
With holy, pure endeavour,
Alike by friend and stranger
To guide our steps aright.

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