Modern Hymns and Poetry for the Nymphai

Communal Hymn of the Old Thiasos

Every tree is a dancer,
every mountain a myth,
each river a song.
Beautiful Nymphai,
you protect life in its most elemental expressions,
I ground myself in the divinity of this place,
knowing wherever I go,
I can feel the wind and water pulse and thrum
like the echo of a tympanon in the god’s eternal bacchanal.
Dwellers in the waters of the world,
haunters of caves,
you who’ve life-giving sap singing in your veins,
Protean lovers of gods and heroes,
blessed are they that find you,
wise are they that worship you, the holy Nymphai.
I pray to the Nymphs,
His eternal companions,
those who dance with him above and below.
I [take action] for the Nymphs of the Starry Bull.

To the Hyades
by Sannion

Hail to you maidens of moist fertility,
sprung from the body of eternal Ouranos,
you who nurtured plump Bacchus
in dark caverns that echo
with the song of bees
after he was saved
from the womb of his mother
consumed in the flames of thundering Zeus’ boundless love.
You, his first nurses, care-givers and so much more,
prototypes of the women who rush from their doors,
raging, storming, deluged
with life to the point of madness.
You who cooled the fever of his savage fits
with your tender touch.
You who dressed him in greenery
and caused his ruddy flesh to swell
that our wine may be the more potent.
You who come
when the winds beat their wings
and the clouds clap a song like the war-dancing Corybantes
who guard the great youth that wears the heavy crown
and wields the Cyclopic trident of lightning.
I shall remember you come harvest time
and with the first libation.

To the Korykian Nymphai
by Sannion

The Gods know them as Thriai,
but men call them Korykian Nymphai;
always their lips taste of sweet honey.
They are dangerous to meet,
for they can carry a soul away,
feeding him only on the mead of prophecy,
hiding him in their dark cave
so that he never sees the light of day again.
It’s worth it, though.

To the Nurses
by Fiona Husch

You did not think twice
when that mercurial, wing-footed God came
bearing his precious bundle.
“Keep Him safe”, He said
“Raise Him”, He said.

So you took the child God into your arms,
suckling the curly haired babe
as if he were your own.
And you taught him, as he grew older,
your sacred songs and dances.

The tiny infant you raised
now grown into divinity
He came to you, wild and bright.
When he asked you to join Him
You did not think twice.

To the Nymphs
by Sannion

I sing of all the Nymphs now –
those who call the mountains their home,
or haunt the shaded forests,
those who live in rivers and springs and all running waters,
and those in trees and rocks and the most sacred precincts.

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