Aristophanes

(448 BC - 380 BC / Athens)

SONG OF THE CLOUDS (from The Clouds)


CLOUD-MAIDENS that float on forever,
Dew-sprinkled, fleet bodies, and fair,
Let us rise from our Sire's loud river,
Great Ocean, and soar through the air
To the peaks of the pine-covered mountains where the pines hang as tressed of hair.
Let us seek the watch towers undaunted,
Where the well-watered cornfields abound,
And through murmurs of rivers nymph-haunted,
The songs of the sea-waves resound;
And the sun in the sky never wearies of spreading his radiance around.

Let us cast off the haze
Of the mists from our band,
Till with far-seeing gaze
We may look on the land.

Cloud-maidens that bring the rain shower,
To the Pallas-loved land let us wing,
To the land of stout heroes and Power,
Where Kekrops was hero and king,
Where honor and silence is given
To the mysteries that none may declare,
Where are gifts to the high gods in heaven
When the house of the gods is laid bare,
Where are lofty roofed temples, and statues well carven and fair;
Where are feasts to the happy immortals
When the sacred procession draws near,
Where garlands make bright the bright portals
At all seasons and months in the year;
And when spring days are here,
Then we tread to the wine-god a measure,
In Bacchanal dance and in pleasure,
'Mid the contests of sweet singing choirs,
And the crash of loud lyres.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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