One of the great tragedies. A tale of Dionysos returning to his home town seeking revenge for his dead mother. The play has given rise to a plethora of interpretations.
cchios?--Father!--Nay, mine eyes are fond; It is not your white heads so fancy-flown! It cannot be! Cast off that ivy crown, O mine own mother's sire! Set free that hand That cowers about its staff. 'Tis thou hast planned This work, Teiresias! 'Tis thou must set Another altar and another yet Amongst us, watch new birds, and win more hire Of gold, interpreting new signs of fire! But for thy silver hairs, I tell thee true, Thou now wert sitting chained amid thy crew Of raving damsels, for this evil dream Thou hast brought us, of new Gods! When once the gleam Of grapes hath lit a Woman's Festival, In all their prayers is no more health at all!
LEADER OF THE CHORUS (the words are not heard by PENTHEUS).
Injurious King, hast thou no care for God, Nor Cadmus, sower of the Giants' Sod, Life-spring to great Echion and to thee?
Good words, my son, come easily, when he That speaks is wise, and speaks but for the right. Else come they never! Swift are thine, and bright As