To Dionysos

I call to Dionysos, great god of the vine,
son of thundering Zeus and headstrong Semele,
loving husband of warm-hearted Ariadne.
From the east you came, old before the ancients,
throughout the elder world were you beloved;
in Naxos and Boitia were you celebrated,
in temples and in the savage wilderness,
the fleet-footed maenads running in your wake.
The sweetest, strongest wine is ever your drink;
the mind’s release, the body’s loosening, your gift.
O Dionysos; thyrsus-shaker, ivy-crowned
god, we see you in the shadows, we see you on
the edges, we see you in the haze of ecstasy,
where we know the truth of passion, where we find
the essence of our being. Bacchus, I call to you!

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