We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hermion's little-known verse was discovered buried in many feet of rubble beneath the ruins of the Alexandria Library in 1872 by a team of British archeologists sponsored by Chauncey, Lord Wizzingham. The singed Greek papyrus fragments were difficult to decipher without modern techniques. They appear to be a poetry instructional text, with a series of samples of the basic forms of ancient Greek lyric poetry. Most of the text has been lost.
His samples are considered to be derivative and unoriginal, cliche-ridden, and thus perhaps a collection of traditional songs and thus of little more literary interest than "The Happy Birthday Song" and "For he's a jolly good fellow." My own translations from the ancient Greek, with my labels for the lyrical types:
Skolion (a song of gratitude to a host)
Praise to our host, who provides the best of wine and the finest oils from his orchards and herbs from his fields. Hail to our host who provides us with the finest fishes and meats. We will remember this feast, and may the Gods bless it. May the Gods bless it well. Today our host is our Lord. Today our host is our Lord. Praise to our generous host today.
Erotikon (a love song)
I open your flower like a lily, and the lily opens for me. Anointed with the scented oils you smell so sweet my tongue must taste your sweetness, sweet maid of Paros. If you only let me, I will be with the Gods. I will be like the Gods in their heavens, if you let me come close. I will even unsheath my nimble sword for you, dear lady, if you show me the kindness I long for. Show me kindness. Show me kindness.
Enkomion (a praise poem for a person)
Dear Heraklon, your arm is strong in battle, your judgement wise in council, your children lovely and compliant, your wife an excellent and dutiful mate. Your concubines are the most lovely and affectionate; your slaves gracious and attentive to every need. There is gold and wheat and oil in your storerooms. How can I, a humble man, find the words to praise your virtues?
Hymenaios (wedding song)
We sing the joyful nuptial song for you. We sing the joyful nuptial song for you. May be you blessed by the Gods with strong sons. May you be blessed by the Gods with lovely daughters. May you prosper. May you prosper. May the Gods take delight in this occasion. May the Gods take delight in this occasion.
Hymn (a praise song to the gods)
Let us praise the Gods who dwell among the clouds, The Gods of the high peaks, the Gods among the clouds. Olympians, smile on our actions. Olympians, smile on our actions. When we seek the good, you smile on our actions. When we please your wishes, you smile on our actions. Strengthen our hands and arms, and smile on our actions. Fatten our animals, and enrich our harvests. Infect our enemies with disease, and enrich our harvests. Defeat our enemies, and smile on our harsh actions. We will forever praise you. We will forever praise you.
Dithyramb (a song for Dionysus)
Lord of the dance, Lord of the wines, Lord of the pure wines, Lord of the scented wines, Lord of the wild hills, Lord of the high thyme-scented hills, Lord who rides the snarling panther to our festivities. Join us in our festivities, Dionysus. Join us in our festivities, Dionysus. You are the horned bull, the young women hunger for your presence. The old women are made jubilant and youthful by your presence. Drink the wine we bring, the wine we made, the fragrant wine we offer, the wine which makes us dance, the wine which makes us amorous, the wine which makes us run and dance.
Threnos (a funeral song)
Archemion, you have travelled from us. Archemion, you have travelled from us. With our funeral song, we will remember you. With our funeral song, we will remember you. With our funeral song, the Gods will remember you. The Gods will watch your travels, and remember your good works.
Paean (a hymn to Apollo sung around the altar)
Lord Apollo, it is our joy to celebrate you. Lord Apollo, it is our joy to celebrate you. The source of our illumination and wisdom, our lamp and our light, our lamp and our light, our lamp in the evening and our light by day, the Prince of Olympus, the Prince of Olympus. Our joy is to bring our gifts to your altar. Our joy is to bring our sacrifices to your sacred altar.
Image: A Bell-Krater (c. 440 BC), used for mixing wine with water and flavorings (which the Dionysians refused to do - they drank their wine unmixed to get their holy buzz on).