The Oracle of Dionysos Bakcheios

[Made from the lines spoken by Dionysos in Euripides’ Bakchai]

1-1-1: The god himself will set me free.
1-1-2: The rituals are no friend of any man who’s hostile to the gods.
1-1-3: I’ll go inside your house and dress you up.
1-1-4: Surely a god can make it over any wall?
1-1-5: after he made himself so terrifying
1-1-6: But now it’s working in you as it should.
1-2-1: he found a bull.
1-2-2: You bear the city’s burden by yourself.
1-2-3: I’m the guide who’ll rescue you.
1-2-4: Hold out your hand to him.
1-2-5: You refused my rites.
1-2-6: That’s what I proclaim.
1-3-1: in your mother’s arms.
1-3-2: a guardian.
1-3-3: he’ll transform your lives.
1-3-4: who wants to hide himself.
1-3-5: down to your ankle.
1-3-6: stop all that.
1-4-1: Your harmonious wife.
1-4-2: Your form will change.
1-4-3: abandon your city for barbarian lands.
1-4-4: those places where the nymphs all congregate.
1-4-5: I’m leading this young man in your direction.
1-4-6: all by yourself.
1-5-1: I’ve arrived here in the land of Thebes.
1-5-2: That’s true, but in my own way.
1-5-3: Well, you’ll win a towering fame, as high as heaven.
1-5-4: The Thebans learned about my powers too late.
1-5-5: events will show, as they occur.
1-5-6: Follow me.
1-6-1: What for?
1-6-2: while I lead him through the city
1-6-3: Before this your mind was not well adjusted.
1-6-4: In that case, you must clothe your body in a dress—one made of eastern linen.
1-6-5: Now it’s up to you.
1-6-6: Maybe you’ll capture them, unless you’re captured first.
2-1-1: The tasks that have been specially set for you.
2-1-2: you’ll have become someone to celebrate.
2-1-3: I fixed it.
2-1-4: A thyrsus to hold and a dappled fawn skin.
2-1-5: He was what he wished to be, not made to order.
2-1-6: In this business I was playing with him.
2-2-1: He came to Thebes with nothing but good things.
2-2-2: A suitable name. It suggests misfortune.
2-2-3: Sacred lord of earthquakes, shake this ground.
2-2-4: But first you’d better listen to this man.
2-2-5: We go by deserted streets.
2-2-6: I watched him, sitting quietly nearby.
2-3-1: you’re not far away.
2-3-2: or did you miss that part?
2-3-3: Get up now. Be brave. And stop your trembling.
2-3-4: That will be his punishment.
2-3-5: Before his attitude was not so kind.
2-3-6: But here, this strand of hair is out of place.
2-4-1: I applaud you for it.
2-4-2: That information cannot be passed on to men like you.
2-4-3: Are you ready to take the trip?
2-4-4: Now you’re seeing just what you ought to see.
2-4-5: Pan plays his music on his pipes.
2-4-6: He’s dropped his sword, worn out, exhausted.
2-5-1: Well, I’ll deal with him quite gently.
2-5-2: You’ll find just the sort of hiding place.
2-5-3: Perhaps.
2-5-4: That sounds like a wise way to proceed.
2-5-5: mincing as he moves along in women’s clothing
2-5-6: Did you feel despair when I was sent away?
2-6-1: outside the palace.
2-6-2: You must lift your right foot in time with it.
2-6-3: Your mind has changed.
2-6-4: Your work is waiting there.
2-6-5: So I’ve driven those women from their homes in a frenzy.
2-6-6: so desperately eager to see.
3-1-1: He’s made a pact with us.
3-1-2: I’ll take you.
3-1-3: and there he’ll die.
3-1-4: he kept panting in his rage, dripping sweat.
3-1-5: When you return someone else will bring you back.
3-1-6: On your way to horrific suffering.
3-2-1: you too must endure your lot.
3-2-2: That polluted creature.
3-2-3: But you can be sure of this.
3-2-4: Do you lie there on the ground prostrate with fear?
3-2-5: for the great confrontation
3-2-6: Io! Io! I’m calling out again.
3-3-1: If you have desire, you’ll have the power.
3-3-2: you’ll consider me your dearest friend.
3-3-3: with all those earlier threats
3-3-4: Shadows confer solemnity.
3-3-5: Now you must leave.
3-3-6: As Zeus’ oracle declares.
3-4-1: slashing away at nothing but bright air.
3-4-2: What sort of trick, if I want to save you in my own way?
3-4-3: There’s more.
3-4-4: I have myself completely covered it.
3-4-5: But he’ll do it, if you make him mad.
3-4-6: As you wish.
3-5-1: It’s only right.
3-5-2: Hold on. Calm down. Don’t be so angry.
3-5-3: You’ll rule barbarians.
3-5-4: My hair is sacred. I grow it for the god.
3-5-5: What will he say, I wonder, after this?
3-5-6: If you had understood how to behave as you should have.
3-6-1: you earn the penalty.
3-6-2: You’ve lost your wits.
3-6-3: Yes, that’s true.
3-6-4: too large to count.
3-6-5: I’ll rearrange it for you.
3-6-6: Yes, I’ve changed my form from god to man.
4-1-1: But Ares will guard you and Harmonia.
4-1-2: Why postpone what necessity requires?
4-1-3: Dishonoring me.
4-1-4: my name received no recognition.
4-1-5: you’d now be fortunate.
4-1-6: You’ve heard what I had to say.
4-2-1: fleeing the thyrsoi of those Bacchic women!
4-2-2: Hunt down evil by committing evil.
4-2-3: Why do you wish to see something that will only cause you pain?
4-2-4: But if you go fighting with these mad women, you’ll cause bloodshed.
4-2-5: those things you should not look upon.
4-2-6: You can’t see him, because you don’t believe.
4-3-1: I’ll still be here for you. I won’t run off.
4-3-2: consume it all!
4-3-3: You’ll confront something you don’t expect.
4-3-4: Why then delay?
4-3-5: and dreadfully.
4-3-6: a mere mortal daring to fight a god.
4-4-1: Straighten up your head.
4-4-2: I have made some arrangement with the god.
4-4-3: they’ll have a painful journey back again.
4-4-4: I was born a god, and you insulted me.
4-4-5: It seems you feel Dionysos’ power, as he rattles Pentheus’ palace.
4-4-6: Yes.
4-5-1: My father Zeus willed all this long ago.
4-5-2: Your girdle’s loose.
4-5-3: he’ll not agree.
4-5-4: But their laws are very different, too.
4-5-5: After all, a wise man ought to keep his temper.
4-5-6: Bacchic women acting modestly.
4-6-1: you’ll raze many cities.
4-6-2: But even if you go there secretly, they’ll find you out.
4-6-3: Wait! It seems to me I hear marching feet—
4-6-4: Why is that?
4-6-5: most terrifying and yet most kind to men.
4-6-6: There’s still a chance to end this calmly.
5-1-1: I’ve made them put on costumes.
5-1-2: crooked, too.
5-1-3: He ran round, here and there.
5-1-4: He goes insane with some crazed fantasy.
5-1-5: So you’re prepared?
5-1-6: One can do shameful things in daylight, too.
5-2-1: you should have known.
5-2-2: I’ve brought you the man who laughed at you.
5-2-3: making known to men my own divinity.
5-2-4: I will triumph.
5-2-5: When I look at you I think I see them.
5-2-6: with their beautifully constructed towers.
5-3-1: I’d sooner make an offering to that god.
5-3-2: To spoil you?
5-3-3: dancing in the mysteries I established.
5-3-4: Now punish him!
5-3-5: The god walks here.
5-3-6: I saw him—he saw me.
5-4-1: with the offspring of Zeus among your allies.
5-4-2: the costume he’ll wear when he goes down to Hades.
5-4-3: So it seems to me, but I’m guessing now.
5-4-4: He’ll come to acknowledge Dionysos.
5-4-5: that man’s now entangled in our net.
5-4-6: along the salt-sea coast.
5-5-1: in my hand.
5-5-2: He sees my suffering now—and from near by.
5-5-3: full of barbarians and Greeks all intermingled
5-5-4: Would you derive pleasure from looking on?
5-5-5: You learn too late.
5-5-6: They boasted aloud.
5-6-1: Once these things here have been made right, I’ll move on somewhere else.
5-6-2: You’ve heard of Tmolus, where flowers grow.
5-6-3: What harsh penalties will you inflict?
5-6-4: Burn Pentheus’ palace.
5-6-5: sisters have acted badly.
5-6-6: They’re worth knowing, but you’re not allowed to hear.
6-1-1: They’ll track you down.
6-1-2: Just a minute!
6-1-3: You’re quite ignorant of why you live, what you do, and who you are.
6-1-4: sitting together in the mountains.
6-1-5: Why so desperately eager?
6-1-6: What a disgrace!
6-2-1: You look just like one of Cadmus’ daughters.
6-2-2: Bromios will not let you.
6-2-3: consumed by the lightning bolt.
6-2-4: Io! Hear me, hear me as I call you.
6-2-5: attributed her bad luck in bed to Zeus
6-2-6: lands of the gold-rich East.
6-3-1: Here I plead the cause of my own mother.
6-3-2: He’s made his daughter’s shrine a holy place.
6-3-3: take up the drum.
6-3-4: go in person.
6-3-5: I will not compel.
6-3-6: I warn you—you shouldn’t tie me up.
6-4-1: he chooses to ignore me.
6-4-2: You were ignorant.
6-4-3: comrades on the road.
6-4-4: prohibiting all sacrificial rites.
6-4-5: Why do you desire it so much?
6-4-6: that’s why Zeus killed her
6-5-1: and all for nothing!
6-5-2: I, commander of these Maenads, will fight them.
6-5-3: of all people, should avoid.
6-5-4: Whatever you do, I’m ready.
6-5-5: the old king has just transferred his power.
6-5-6: They said she made the whole story up.
6-6-1: or, at least, all women
6-6-2: underneath green pine trees, no roof overhead
6-6-3: Come out here now.
6-6-4: Persia’s sun-drenched plains.
6-6-5: If they see you as a man, they’ll kill you.
6-6-6: All the barbarians are dancing in these rites.