Euripides. The Tragedies of Euripides. Vol. I. Buckley, Theodore Alois, translator. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1850.
And I, more masterful than you, bid them to bind you.
You do not know why you live, or what you are doing, or who you are.
I am Pentheus, son of Echion and Agave.
You are well-suited to be miserable in your name.[*](Punning on πένθος, grief.)
Go. To attendants Shut him up near the horse
stable, so that he may see only darkness. To Dionysus Dance there; and as for these women whom you have led here as accomplices to your crimes, we will either sell them or, stopping their hands from this noise and beating of skins, I will keep them as slaves at the loom.
I will go, for I need not suffer that which is not necessary. But Dionysus, who you claim does not exist, will pursue you for these insults. For in injuring us, you put him in bonds.
---Daughter of Acheloüs,
venerable Dirce, happy virgin, you once received the child of Zeus in your streams, when Zeus his father snatched him up from the immortal fire and saved him in his thigh,
crying out: Go, Dithyrambus, enter this my male womb. I will make you illustrious, Bacchus, in Thebes, so that they will call you by this name.
But you, blessed Dirce, reject me with my garland-bearing company about you. Why do you refuse me, why do you flee me? I swear by the cluster-bearing
delight of Dionysus’ vine that you will have a care for Bromius.
What rage, what rage does the earth-born race show, and Pentheus,
once descended from a serpent—Pentheus, whom earth-born Echion bore, a fierce monster, not a mortal man, but like a bloody giant, hostile to the gods.
He will soon bind me, the hand-maid of Bromius, in chains, and he already holds my fellow-reveler within the house, hidden in a dark prison.
Do you see this, O Dionysus, son of Zeus, your priests in the dangers of restraint? Come, lord, down from Olympus, brandishing your golden thyrsos,
and restrain the insolence of the blood-thirsty man.
Where on Nysa, which nourishes wild beasts, or on Corycian heights, do you lead with your thyrsos the bands of revelers?
Perhaps in the deep-wooded lairs of Olympus, where Orpheus once playing the lyre drew together trees by his songs, drew together the beasts of the fields.
Blessed Pieria, the Joyful one reveres you and will come to lead the dance in revelry; having crossed the swiftly flowing Axius he will bring the