| ODE OF ENTRY
Hail bright sun!
brightest of all that
on the City of
City of Thebes!
Hail gold dawn!
on Dirce's river
Speed the flight
of white invaders
in full retreat
The sun's long blade, unsheathed and
Level from east to west, salutes with glory
Thebes of the Seven Gates! Bright eye of day
Opening your golden lids above swirling Dirce's stream
You struck the enemy's white shields, and hurled them back
Headlong from morning's blaze!
Polynices gathered his force against us,
He rallied them with strident, haughty words.
Like a ravenous bird of prey he swooped around us,
And his wings were the white shields flashing,
And his plumes were the crested helmets
Of his host arrayed in thousands.
Against our seven gates in a ring of blood
The thirsty swords and spears advanced in the night;
But before they could taste our blood, before
The invaders torches devoured us, he was thrown back
And fled with Great Thebes like a dragon roaring behind him and
War's thunder in his ears.
For God in Heaven hates boasting;
And when he saw them swagger in golden armor,
And when he heard, above the clash of the battle ,
These invaders shout out "Victory" over our ramparts,
His frown transformed to thunder and blasted
Their first man from our walls.
We heard his cry of triumph high in the air
Turn to a scream, as he toppled, a flaming arc plunging
With a guttering torch— and the earth struck him.
And others storming forward in no less fury
Were shocked by death in battle's dusty joy
By the god that fought for us.
Seven invaders at seven gates, seven defenders
Surrendered their bronze as a tribute to war's god,
Ares, who shatters the lines of battle; only two,
Blood of the same blood, luckless brothers fought on,
Face to face in a matchless rage,
Mirroring each other's death.
But now in victory's glorious morning,
Let Thebes, the city of chariots, sing for joy!
Now is the time to make our temples echo
With hymns of thanksgiving for warfare's end;
And invoke Dionysus to lead us as we
Shake the ground with night-long dances.
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