A Maenad* roams the wild reckless me
That darkening forest of hopes and dreams:
A love sacred like an ancient oak tree
Secure without bar walls pillars or beams.
Yet the savage boar-shaped demons of doubt
Conspire with fire-vipers of fear.
“Remove this plague ” I beg those thereabout.
They terrorize all but not my Maenad dear.
Her ungroomed hair curls like Bromie’s† vines,
The whiteness of her skin shows devotion.
Serving in nudeness, for her God she pines.
She is sanely drunk with high emotion.
The enraptured, wine-induced love of craze;
Forces out of doors, sharpens the senses,
Lowers boundaries, hates the light of day.
Many are this Maenad woman’s offenses.
Here she comes! screaming with ferocity,
Tearing bodies of boars and snakes in two.
Gouging their sockets in generosity;
She spares their eyes of what she will do.
Dining upon the heart that is beating,
Disemboweling the demoniac pig,
Ravaging a snake that is bleeding,
She gnaws their bones like locusts on a twig.
Mounting now a vicious counterattack,
Their last and final breath is expended.
Falling down, their tongues roll wildly back;
They die a painful death as intended.
Satiated with ravenous toil,
With night nearly over, she seeks her rest.
She reclines upon some grassy soil,
In this way the Maenad queen makes her nest.
Laying there in peaceful serenity,
On her side, her legs curled to her breast.
Now come the dreams of being with her Love,
The great Wine-God, who was last but is best.‡
As the moon begins to set, the sun’s ray
bathes her angelic body with brilliance.
On her face a faint smile seems to say,
“To all men less One, I show defiance.”
* pronounced M?-nod, stressing the first syllable. In Greek mythology, maenads were the female followers of Dionysus, the most significant members of the Thiasus, the retinue of Dionysus. Their name literally translates as "raving ones". Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by him into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and drunken intoxication. In this state, they would lose all self control, begin shouting excitedly, engage in uncontrolled sexual behavior, and ritualistically hunt down and tear animals (and sometimes men and children) to pieces, devouring the raw flesh.
† pronounced Brum-?, stressing the first syllable. Bromie (meaning thunderer) was an epithet of Dionysus (Greek Bacchus).
‡ Dionysus was the last god accepted into the pantheon of the twelve Olympians. Homer never mentioned him.