Euripides. The Tragedies of Euripides. Vol. I. Buckley, Theodore Alois, translator. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1850.
from the Phrygian mountains to the broad streets of Hellas—Bromius,
Whom once, in the compulsion of birth pains,
the thunder of Zeus flying upon her, his mother cast from her womb, leaving life by the stroke of a thunderbolt. Immediately Zeus, Kronos’ son,
received him in a chamber fit for birth, and having covered him in his thigh shut him up with golden clasps, hidden from Hera. And he brought forth, when the Fates
had perfected him, the bull-horned god, and he crowned him with crowns of snakes, for which reason Maenads cloak their wild prey over their locks.
O Thebes, nurse of Semele, crown yourself with ivy, flourish, flourish with the verdant yew bearing sweet fruit, and crown yourself in honor of Bacchus with branches of oak
or pine. Adorn your garments of spotted fawn-skin with fleeces of white sheep, and sport in holy games with insolent thyrsoi [*](The thyrsos is a staff that is crowned with ivy and that is sacred to Dionysus and an emblem of his worship.). At once all the earth will dance—
whoever leads the sacred band is Bromius—to the mountain, to the mountain, where the crowd of women waits, goaded away from their weaving by Dionysus.
O secret chamber of the Kouretes and you holy Cretan caves, parents to Zeus, where the Korybantes with triple helmet invented for me in their caves this circle,
covered with stretched hide; and in their excited revelry they mingled it with the sweet-voiced breath of Phrygian pipes and handed it over to mother Rhea, resounding with the sweet songs of the Bacchae;
nearby, raving Satyrs were fulfilling the rites of the mother goddess, and they joined it to the dances of the biennial festivals, in which Dionysus rejoices.
He is sweet in the mountains [*](cf. Dodds, ad loc.), whenever after the running dance he falls on the ground, wearing the sacred garment of fawn skin, hunting the blood of the slain goat, a raw-eaten delight, rushing to the
Phrygian, the Lydian mountains, and the leader of the dance is Bromius, evoe! [*](A ritual cry of delight.) The plain flows with milk, it flows with wine, it flows with the nectar of bees.
The Bacchic one, raising the flaming torch of pine on his thyrsos, like the smoke of Syrian incense, darts about, arousing the wanderers with his racing and dancing, agitating them with his shouts,
casting his rich locks into the air. And among the Maenad cries his voice rings deep: [*](This last phrase taken verbatim from Dodds, ad loc.) Go, Bacchae, go, Bacchae, with the luxury of Tmolus that flows with gold,
sing of Dionysus, beneath the heavy beat of drums, celebrating in delight the god of delight with Phrygian shouts and cries,
when the sweet-sounding sacred pipe sounds a sacred playful tune suited
to the wanderers, to the mountain, to the mountain! And the Bacchante, rejoicing like a foal with its grazing mother, rouses her swift foot in a gamboling dance.
Who is at the gates? Call from the house Kadmos, son of Agenor, who leaving the city of Sidon built this towering city of the Thebans. Let someone go and announce that Teiresias is looking for him. He knows why I have come and
what agreement I, an old man, have made with him, older still: to twine the thyrsoi, to wear fawn-skins, and to crown our heads with ivy branches.