Lament for the Starry Bull

Lament for the Starry Bull
by Rebecca Lynn Scott

In Hellas, a central part of the funeral was the laments. There were two, a threnos or formal lament sung by a professional, and a goös, a personal lament improvised by those closest to the Dead. Here, the plaintext is the threnos, meant to be sung mournfully to the tune of Amazing Grace, while the italic text is to goös, to be declaimed or chanted by someone other than the singer, perhaps a mainad or mainades working themselves into a frenzy as they progress. This is the Chthonic Dionysia, after all. What would it be without mainades?

The heart of the Bull is strong and dark
His hooves they bear the weight
He is consumed by his madness
That death alone will sate

I grieve for the Bull
Whose passing awakened me
And shook me deep to my core
I adore the Starry Bull

The blood of the bull is red and wild
His horns are a crown of stars
His roaring fills all hearts and minds
And it both mends and mars

I grieve for the Bull
At his coming, I made to run
Not to flee but to follow
I celebrate the Starry Bull

The heart of the bull is rain and sun
And growth of vine and leaf
But in some seasons leaves do die
And bring us all to grief

I grieve for the Bull
If below he goes, then I go, too
And follow that downward path
I exalt the Starry Bull

The blood of the bull is vine’s nectar
Which runs when grapes are pressed
It flows and flows to give us joy
And by it we are blest