Recitations for Anthesteria

For Pithoigia

Orphic Hymn 53. To Amphietous

̓Αμφιετῆ καλέω Βάκχον, χθόνιον ∆ιόνυσον,
ἐγρόμενον κούραις ἅμα νύμφαις εὐπλοκάμοισιν,
ὃς παρὰ Περσεφόνης ἱεροῖσι δόμοισιν ἰαύων
κοιμίζει τριετῆρα χρόνον, Βακχήιον ἁγνόν.
αὐτὸς δ’ ἡνίκα τὸν τριετῆ πάλι κῶμον ἐγείρηι,
εἰς ὕμνον τρέπεται σὺν ἐυζώνοισι τιθήναις
εὐνάζων κινῶν τε χρόνους ἐνὶ κυκλάσιν ὥραις.
ἀλλά, μάκαρ, χλοόκαρπε, κερασφόρε, κάρπιμε Βάκχε,
Βαῖν’ ἐπὶ πάνθειον τελετὴν γανόωντι προσώπωι
εὐιέροις καρποῖσι τελεσσιγόνοισι Βρυάζων.

I call upon the Bakchos we worship annually, chthonic Dionysos,
who, together with the fair-tressed Nymphs, is roused.
In the sacred halls of Persephone he slumbers,
and puts to sleep pure, Bacchic time every third year.
When he himself stirs up the triennial revel again he sings a hymn,
accompanied by his fair-girdled Nurses,
and, as the seasons revolve he puts to sleep and wakes up the years.
But, O blessed and fruit-giving Bakchos, O horned spirit of the unripe fruit,
come to this most sacred rite with the glow of joy on your face,
come all-abounding in fruit that is holy and perfect.

For Choes

Aischylos, Danaïdes frag. 25

ἐρᾷ μὲν ἁγνὸς οὐρανὸς τρῶσαι χθόνα,
ἔρως δὲ γαῖαν λαμβάνει γάμου τυχεῖν:
ὄμβρος δ᾽ ἀπ᾽ εὐνάοντος οὐρανοῦ πεσὼν
ἔκυσε γαῖαν: ἡ δὲ τίκτεται βροτοῖς
μήλων τε βοσκὰς καὶ βίον Δημήτριον
δενδρῶτις ὥρα δ᾽ ἐκ νοτίζοντος γάμουι
– τέλειος ἐστί. τῶν δ᾽ ἐγὼ παραίτιος.

The holy heaven yearns to wound the earth,
and yearning earth to be embraced and joined in wedlock;
the rain, fallen from the amorous heaven,
impregnates the earth, and it bringeth forth
for mankind the food of flocks and herds and Demeter’s gifts;
and from that moist marriage-rite the woods put on their bloom.
Of all these things I am the cause.

For Chutroi

Orphic Hymn 57. To Chthonic Hermes

Κωκυτοῦ ναίων ἀνυπόστροφον οἶμον ἀνάγκης,
ὃς ψυχὰς θνητῶν κατάγεις ὑπὸ νέρτερα γαίης,
̓Ερμῆ, Βακχεχόροιο ∆ιωνύσοιο γένεθλον
καὶ Παφίης κούρης, ἑλικοβλεφάρου ̓Αφροδίτης,
ὃς παρὰ Περσεφόνης ἱερὸν δόμον ἀμφιπολεύεις,
αἰνομόροις ψυχαῖς πομπὸς κατὰ γαῖαν ὑπάρχων,
ἃς κατάγεις, ὁπόταν μοίρης χρόνος εἰσαφίκηται
εὐιέρωι ῥάβδωι θέλγων ὑπνοδώτειρα πάντα,
καὶ πάλιν ὑπνώοντας ἐγείρεις : σοὶ γὰρ ἔδωκε τιμὴν
τιμὴν Φερσεφόνεια θεὰ κατὰ Τάρταρον εὐρὺν
ψυχαῖς ἀενάοις θνητῶν ὁδὸν ἡγεμονεύειν.
ἀλλά, μάκαρ, πέμποις μύσταις τέλος ἐσθλὸν ἐπ’ ἔργοις.

You dwell in the compelling road of no return, by the Kokytos,
you guide the souls of mortals to the nether gloom,
Hermes, offspring of Dionysos who revels in dance,
and Aphrodite, the Paphian maiden of the fluttering eyelids.
You frequent the sacred house of Persephone,
as guide throughout the earth of ill-fated souls,
which you bring to their haven when their time has come,
charming them with your sacred wand and giving them sleep,
from which you rouse them again.
To you indeed Persephone gave the office, throughout wide Tartaros,
to lead the way for the eternal souls of men.
But, O blessed one, grant a good end for the initiate’s work.