Ion fr. 27: A Middling Drinking Song with a Good Punch Line

“Hail to our king, father and defender—
Have our servants mix the wine bowls
drawing from pitchers ringed with silver. And have the man
who holds the golden wine jar wash our hands to the floor.
With reverence, make libation to Herakles, Alkmene
To Procles and the descendants of Perseus.
But let us begin drinking and playing with Zeus.
Let the song fly through the night.
Let anyone dance. Begin with willing cheer.
And the man who has a fine–looking woman waiting in his bed.
will drink more decisively than the rest.”



χαιρέτω ἡμέτερος βασιλεὺς σωτήρ τε πατήρ τε·
ἡμῖν δὲ κρητῆρ’ οἰνοχόοι θέραπες
κιρνάντων προχύταισιν ἐν ἀργυρέοις· †ὁ δὲ χρυσὸς
οἶνον ἔχων χειρῶν νιζέτω εἰς ἔδαφος.†
σπένδοντες δ’ ἁγνῶς ῾Ηρακλεῖ τ’ ᾿Αλκμήνηι τε,
Προκλεῖ Περσείδαις τ’ ἐκ Διὸς ἀρχόμενοι
πίνωμεν, παίζωμεν· ἴτω διὰ νυκτὸς ἀοιδή,
ὀρχείσθω τις· ἑκὼν δ’ ἄρχε φιλοφροσύνης.
ὅντινα δ’ εὐειδὴς μίμνει θήλεια πάρευνος,
κεῖνος τῶν ἄλλων κυδρότερον πίεται.


Ion? A poet we’ve seen before