Zeus hates the boastful tongue:
He with hurled firedown flung
One who in haste had mounted high,
And that same hour from topmost tower
Upraised the exulting cry.
Swung rudely to the hard repellent earthII 1
Amidst his furious mirth
He fell, who then with flaring brand
Held in his fiery hand
Came breathing madness at the gate
In eager blasts of hate.
And doubtful swayed the varying fight
Through the turmoil of the night,
As turning now on these and now on those
Ares hurtled ’midst our foes,
Self-harnessed helper on our right.
Seven matched with seven. at each gate one,
Their captains, when the day was done,
Left for our Zeus who turned the scale,
The brazen tribute in full tale:—
All save the horror-burdened pair,
Dire children of despair,
Who from one sire, one mother, drawing breath,
Each with conquering lance in rest
Against a true-born brother's breast,
Found equal lots in death.
But with blithe greeting to glad Thebè cameII 2
She of the glorious name,
Victory,—smiling on our chariot throng
With eyes that waken song.
Then let those battle-memories cease,
Silenced by thoughts of peace.
With holy dances of delight
Lasting through the livelong night
Visit we every shrine, in solemn round,
Led by him who shakes the ground,
Our Bacchus, Thebè's child of light.