"O child, grow strong! You are to be
the healer of the world: how often shall
your skills save mortal bodies' life and health!
And you shall have the right to resurrect
the dead, a gift that Jove will then resent;
and when you've done this once (though he's your own
grandfather), he will hurl his thunderbolt
to thwart your doing it again; and you,
a god, shall then become a bloodless corpse;
but from a corpse you shall be changed once more
into a god: the fate you've known before
is to repeat itself." (2.642-648)
The grateful Cadmus'
lips kissed this foreign land – so did he greet
these fields he'd never seen before, these peaks.
But then, for the libations to complete
the sacrifice he now would offer Jove,
he needed living water from a spring:
and this he sent his servingmen to seek. (3.24-27)
foresee the day – and it is soon to come –
when Bacchus Liber, son of Semele,
shall come. If you don't worship that new god,
you will be torn into a thousand parts –
your scattered limbs tossed round about; your blood
will foul the woods and stain your mother and
your mother's sisters. This will come to pass.
You will not honor the new god; and then
you will complain that, in my blindness, I
saw far too well." (3.519-525)