LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes, Part 19
Yes, take your flute, in the gods'name. What a delight to see
LACONIAN (dancing and singing)
Oh! Mnemosyne! inspire these men, inspire my muse who knows our
exploits and those of the Athenians. With what a god-like ardour did
they swoop down at Artemisium on the ships of the Medes! What a
glorious victory was that! For the soldiers of Leonidas, they were
like fierce boars whetting their tusks. The sweat ran down their
faces, and drenched all their limbs, for verily the Persians were as
many as the sands of the seashore. Oh! Artemis, huntress queen,
whose arrows pierce the denizens of the woods, virgin goddess, be thou
favourable to the peace we here conclude; through thee may our
hearts be long united! May this treaty draw close for ever the bonds
of a happy friendship! No more wiles and stratagems! Aid us, oh! aid
us, maiden huntress!
All is for the best; and now, Laconians, take your wives away home
with you, and you, Athenians, yours. May husband live happily with
wife, and wife with husband. Dance, dance, to celebrate our bliss, and
let us be heedful to avoid like mistakes for the future.
CHORUS OF ATHENIANS (singing)
Appear, appear, dancers, and the Graces with you! Let us invoke,
one and all, Artemis, and her heavenly brother, gracious Apollo,
patron of the dance, and Dionysus, whose eye darts flame, as he
steps forward surrounded by the Maenad maids, and Zeus, who wields the
flashing lightning, and his august, thrice-blessed spouse, the Queen
of Heaven! These let us invoke, and all the other gods, calling all
the inhabitants of the skies to witness the noble Peace now
concluded under the fond auspices of Aphrodite. Io Paean! Io Paean!
dance, leap, as in honour of a victory won. Euoi! Euoi! Euai! Euai!
And you, our Laconian guests, sing us a new and inspiring strain!
Leave once more, oh! leave once more the noble height of Taygetus,
oh! Muse of Lacedaemon, and join us in singing the praises of Apollo
of Amyclae, and Athene of the Brazen House, and the gallant twin
sons of Tyndareus, who practise arms on the banks of the Eurotas
river. Haste, haste hither with nimble-footed pace, let us sing
Sparta, the city that delights in CHORUSes divinely sweet and graceful
dances, when our maidens bound lightly by the river side, like
frolicsome fillies, beating the ground with rapid steps and shaking
their long locks in the wind, as Bacchantes wave their wands in the
wild revels of the Wine-god. At their head, oh! chaste and beauteous
goddess, daughter of Leto, Artemis, do thou lead the song and dance.
With a fillet binding thy waving tresses, appear in thy loveliness;
leap like a fawn, strike thy divine hands together to animate the
dance, and aid us to renown the valiant goddess of battles, great
Athene of the Brazen House!
(All depart, singing and dancing.)
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