By Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)


Main Entry: dith·y·ramb
Pronunciation: 'di-thi-"ram(b)
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s):  plural dith·y·rambs /-"ramz/
Etymology: Greek dithyrambos
Date: 1656
1 : a usually short poem in an inspired wild irregular strain
2 : a statement or writing in an exalted or enthusiastic vein



Never, methinks, are the gods known to visit,
               Never alone.
Hardly comes Bacchus, the merry, beguiling,
But arrives Cupid then, boyish and smiling,
Phoebus, the lordly one, makes himself known.
They come, they approach, the divinities all,
They fill and fulfill the terrestrial hall.

Tell me, how should a mere worldling regale you,
               Chorus divine?
Grant your renowned immortality to me,
Gods! What can mortals then give to you, truly?
Lift me unto your Olympus on high!
This joy, it dwells only in Jupiter's palace;
O fill it with nectar, O pass me the chalice!

Pass him the chalice! Grant this the poet,
                Hebe, alone!
Moisten his eyes with a heavenly dew,
Keep the detestable Styx from his view,
Let him thus seem to be one of our own.
It rushes, it sparkles, the fount of delight,
The bosom grows peaceful, the eye becomes bright.

Posted by permission of the translator ~ © 2005

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