Friday, January 21, 2011

Dionysus to the maiden Beroe

(from Nonnos' Dionysiaca XLII.396-406. it is a wierd, wonderful poem written about AD 500, and surviving in one unique MS copied in the 13th Century. W.H.D. Rouse has done this translation)

what worthy gifts
will Earthshker bring?
saltwater as bridegift?
sealskins, breathing
the filthy stink
of the deep?
do not accept them!
i will provide bacchants
to wait upon you
in your bridechamber,
satyrs for chamberlains.
accept my bridegift:
my grapevintages!
and if you desire
a wild spear also,
o daughter of Adonis:
i give you my Thyrsis
for your lance,
-away with Triden's tooth!
flee, my dear
from the ugly noise
of the neversilent sea!
flee the madness
of Poseidon's dangerous love!

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