Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

Section 6

  • Page ID
    55006
  • Some _LOUNGERS_ from the Market with torches approach the Banqueting hall. The _PORTER_ bars their entrance.

    1ST MARKET-LOUNGER

    Open the door.

    PORTER

    Here move along.

    1ST MARKET-LOUNGER

    What's this?
    You're sitting down. Shall I singe you with my torch?
    That's vulgar! O I couldn't do it ... yet
    If it would gratify the audience,
    I'll mortify myself.

    2ND MARKET-LOUNGER

    And I will too.
    We'll both be crude and vulgar, yes we will.

    PORTER

    Be off at once now or you'll be wailing
    Dirges for your hair. Get off at once,
    And see you don't disturb the Spartan envoys
    Just coming out from the splendid feast they've had.

    _The banqueters begin to come out._

    1ST ATHENIAN

    I've never known such a pleasant banquet before,
    And what delightful fellows the Spartans are.
    When we are warm with wine, how wise we grow.

    2ND ATHENIAN

    That's only fair, since sober we're such fools:
    This is the advice I'd give the Athenians--
    See our ambassadors are always drunk.
    For when we visit Sparta sober, then
    We're on the alert for trickery all the while
    So that we miss half of the things they say,
    And misinterpret things that were never said,
    And then report the muddle back to Athens.
    But now we're charmed with each other. They might cap
    With the Telamon-catch instead of the Cleitagora,
    And we'd applaud and praise them just the same;
    We're not too scrupulous in weighing words.

    PORTER

    Why, here the rascals come again to plague me.
    Won't you move on, you sorry loafers there!

    MARKET-LOUNGER

    Yes, by Zeus, they're already coming out.

    SPARTANS

    Now hinnie dearest, please tak' up your pipe
    That I may try a spring an' sing my best
    In honour o' the Athenians an' oursels.

    ATHENIANS

    Aye, take your pipe. By all the gods, there's nothing
    Could glad my heart more than to watch you dance.

    SPARTANS.

    Mnemosyne,
    Let thy fire storm these younkers,
    O tongue wi' stormy ecstasy
    My Muse that knows
    Our deeds and theirs, how when at sea
    Their navies swooped upon
    The Medes at Artemision--
    Gods for their courage, did they strike
    Wrenching a triumph frae their foes;
    While at Thermopylae
    Leonidas' army stood: wild-boars they were like
    Wild-boars that wi' fierce threat
    Their terrible tusks whet;
    The sweat ran streaming down each twisted face,
    Faen blossoming i' strange petals o' death
    Panted frae mortal breath,
    The sweat drenched a' their bodies i' that place,
    For the hurly-burly o' Persians glittered more
    Than the sands on the shore.

    Come, Hunting Girl, an' hear my prayer--
    You whose arrows whizz in woodlands, come an' bless
    This Peace we swear.
    Let us be fenced wi' age long amity,
    O let this bond stick ever firm through thee
    In friendly happiness.
    Henceforth no guilefu' perjury be seen!
    O hither, hither O
    Thou wildwood queen.

    LYSISTRATA

    Earth is delighted now, peace is the voice of earth.
    Spartans, sort out your wives: Athenians, yours.
    Let each catch hands with his wife and dance his joy,
    Dance out his thanks, be grateful in music,
    And promise reformation with his heels.

    ATHENIANS.

    O Dancers, forward. Lead out the Graces,
    Call Artemis out;
    Then her brother, the Dancer of Skies,
    That gracious Apollo.
    Invoke with a shout
    Dionysus out of whose eyes
    Breaks fire on the maenads that follow;
    And Zeus with his flares of quick lightning, and call,
    Happy Hera, Queen of all,
    And all the Daimons summon hither to be
    Witnesses of our revelry
    And of the noble Peace we have made,
    Aphrodite our aid.
    Io Paieon, Io, cry--
    For victory, leap!
    Attained by me, leap!
    Euoi Euoi Euai Euai.

    SPARTANS

    Piper, gie us the music for a new sang.

    SPARTANS.

    Leaving again lovely lofty Taygetus
    Hither O Spartan Muse, hither to greet us,
    And wi' our choric voice to raise
    To Amyclean Apollo praise,
    And Tyndareus' gallant sons whose days
    Alang Eurotas' banks merrily pass,
    An' Athene o' the House o' Brass.

    Now the dance begin;
    Dance, making swirl your fringe o' woolly skin,
    While we join voices
    To hymn dear Sparta that rejoices
    I' a beautifu' sang,
    An' loves to see
    Dancers tangled beautifully;
    For the girls i' tumbled ranks
    Alang Eurotas' banks
    Like wanton fillies thrang,
    Frolicking there
    An' like Bacchantes shaking the wild air
    To comb a giddy laughter through the hair,
    Bacchantes that clench thyrsi as they sweep
    To the ecstatic leap.

    An' Helen, Child o' Leda, come
    Thou holy, nimble, gracefu' Queen,
    Lead thou the dance, gather thy joyous tresses up i' bands
    An' play like a fawn. To madden them, clap thy hands,
    And sing praise to the warrior goddess templed i' our lands,
    Her o' the House o' Brass.

    • Was this article helpful?