Ode to Dionysus
O Dionysus, greatest and best
Your mercy shall forever last
Your justice will never fail
On your endowments, civilizations rest 4
An inferior faith, baptism once a lifetime grants
In this religion most universal
Constant inward baptism renders
Indwelling mutual 8
Three pints, six glasses, nine shooters,
Brings life eternal, imbibing daily.
Then, the smoke of Carolina incense
Lifts my humble existence to communion holy. 12
Not once do your believers go from door to door
In search of lost souls
Nor are stories of petty polemics, heresies,
Schism, bigotry, or burning stakes ever told. 16
Tithing, most generous tithing,
I practice: One part of my income
Saved for food, the other nine
Go to wine. 20
Russian distill, Irish cream, and Gallic sparkles
Caledonian Whiskey, German brew
Herbs of the Orient, ice in Ontario, and Hellenic Ouzo.
With these life springs, my faith stronger grew. 24
The creed, thy adherents joyfully chant:
O Dionysus Almighty, thou art
God of God, light of light, true god of true god
Fermented, refined, not begotten, not made
And inspirations come also from the lees. 29
My words are simple, my art crude
Thy temple I frequent, with piety true
There I find salvation, my soul you soothe
Upon the altar, I gaze at the priestess – nude. 33
1 Jupiter is the “best and greatest.”
6 Universal: the word “Catholic” means “universal,” which
has its origin in Greek: kata (according to) + holos (all).
8 Mutual indwelling is a Christian concept, derived from
John 15: 4-5: “Abide in me, and I in you…”
11 Carolina incense: Tobacco is grown in the Carolinas.
21-24 Homer’s “Catalogue of Ships” in the second book of
the Iliad is the model of this stanza.
25-29 Adapted from Nicene Creed.
29 As a latter addition to the Nicene Creed, the so-called “filioque clause” was added, affirming that “Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father AND the Son.”
30-33 A strip joint for you is a “temple of Dionysus” for me.