Hymn to Dionysos
O Insewn God—born from Zeus' thigh— some folk say in Drakanon, some in windy Ikaros, others say in Naxos, or by the deep-eddying river Alpheos, pregnant Semele bore you to thunder-loving Zeus. Others say you were born in Thebes, Lord, but all of them lie: the father of men and gods gave birth to you far from people, hidden from white-armed Hera. There is a certain Nysa, a towering mountain, blooming with woods, far from Phoenicia, near the streams of Egypt . . . [missing lines] "…People will raise many statues in your temples. Semele, since […] was cut into three, every third year humans will sacrifice to you a hundred perfect bulls." So spoke the son of Kronos nodding his dark-blue brows- the king's divine hair swirled about his immortal head, as he shook great Olympos. With those words, wise Zeus nodded his command. Be gracious, Insewn, maker of maenads. We bards sing of you first and last; there is no way to forget you and still remember holy song. O Dionysos, God sewn in Zeus' thigh, rejoice with your mother Semele, whom some call Thyone.
From The Homeric Hymns: A Translation with Introduction and Notes by Diane Rayo Copyright © 2004 by the Regents of the University of California. Reprinted by permission of the University of California Press. All rights reserved.