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When Pride her structures vain on Madness rears. STRO. 2. Might I to Cyprus win my way,
Where Venus holds her reign;
And round her sprightly train
O that at Paphos I were laid,
Which Spring's eternal verdure know,
And visiting the plants and flow'rs,.
Might I my footsteps bend,
The Muses love to form their seats,
Place me, Bacchus, place me there,
Smiling god of mystic pleasures,
Tread in light fantastic measures;
Thy orgies will I hold.
To joys the feast invites;
Him smiling Peace delights, ;:
To rich, to poor, to high, to low,
Nor pleasing night, nor mirthful day
Whilst gloomy cares, and thoughts unblest,
Beaming its influence wide
The dangerous paths of violence and pride.
But the vulgar thoughtless herd,
By misguiding Folly led,
This moral lore t explain.
PENTHEUS, BACCHUS, OFFICER, CHORUS. OFFIC. Thy presence, Pentheus, we approach, return'd
Not unsuccessful from the chace by thee
Far from thy sight, and to the ballow'd groves
Is come to Thebes. My office is discharg’d.
Light as he is of foot, he shall not ’scape me.
BACC. Without proud prelude plainly will I tell thee. ico
Of flow'ry Tmolus thou perchance hast heard...me PENT. Its heights, I know, wind round the walls of Sardis. BACC. From thence I come, and Lydia is my country. PENT. Whence hast thou brought these mystic rites to Greece? BACC. Bacchus instructed us, the son of Jove.. in PENT. Have you a Jove there who begets new gods ? BACC. No: but the Jove that here loved Semele. .i. i. PENT. Taught he his mystic lore by night, or day? joku BACC. Seeing and seen; and gave his sacred orgies. , PENT. What ceremonious rites have these among you ? is BACC. These to th' unhallow'd may not be reveald. ,, PENT. What profit to their votaries do they bring ? BACC. Thou may'st not hear, though worthy to be known. PENT. Well hast thou wav'd what is my wish to hear. ... BACC. The orgies of the god abhor the impious.ba PENT. The god was seen by thee: what was his form ? BACC. E'en such as pleas'd him: this I order'd not. . PENT. This too thy art hath wav'd, and told me nought. , , BACC. T' instruct the wise in wisdom argues weakness. PENT. Cam'st thou here first to introduce the god? .. BACC. These orgies each barbaric region holds. í. PENT. Less wise than the enlighten'd sons of Greece ? BACC. In this more wise, though differing in their laws. PENT. Hold you these rites by night, or in the day? BACC. Chiefly by night; darkness creates an awe. , PENT. This tempts and poisons female chastity. .,
502, &c. It may not be amiss to observe here, once for all, that in the most interesting and important scenes the dialogue is often thus broken into single lines, each speaker confining himself to his line, sometimes for a long continuance. It is difficult to conceive what grace this amabean recitative had on the Athenian stage, but that it had some grace we may conclude from the frequent use of it by the three great writers of tragedy: to tbe English reader it is likely to have a different effect; yet the trauslator did not think bimself at liberty to deviate from the manner of composition prescribed by his author. It will easily be conceived that these passages must bave occasioned a peculiar difficulty and trouble; and where an English line is found less harmonious than the composer of it wisbes it to be, he humbly hopes that it will be imputed not to his want of ear, but to the confinement he was under, and to his unwillingaess to sacrifice sense to sound.
Bacc. E'en in the day foul deeds are often found.
Where feed my horses; there in night's dark gloom
Their hands, and at the loom keep them as slaves. BACC. I will begone: for what necessity
Inflicts not, neither doth necessity
CHORUS. STRO. O thou, of Achelous' race divine,
Fairest of founts that lead
Their crystal-flowing streams through grove or mead,
For in thy hallow'd wave
Then shouted loud through joy,
“ And Bacchus call thy name.”
Why from thy crisp banks with disdain
Reject my garland-bearing train ?
Nay, by the purple grace that glows
Clust'ring beneath the rich vine's boughs,
Thy Bacchus shalt thou hail, thy boast, thy pride. Antis. What rage, what rage doth Pentheus' bosom fire?
He from the dragon-brood,
Terrific are his frowns,
Ah me! I soon must lie,
Hid in some dreary place
Seest thou, O Bacchus, his rude hand ?
Seest thou thy consecrated band
In all thy golden-glowing bloom
Come from Olympus, Bacchus, come,