Ah, shall my white feet in the dances gleam
The livelong night again? Ah, shall I there
Float through the Bacchanal’s ecstatic dream,
Tossing my neck into the dewy air? —
Like to a fawn that gambols mid delight
Of pastures green.

[ἆρ᾽ ἐν παννυχίοις χοροῖς
θήσω ποτὲ λευκὸν
πόδ᾽ ἀναβακχεύουσα, δέραν
865εἰς αἰθέρα δροσερὸν ῥίπτουσ᾽,
ὡς νεβρὸς χλοεραῖς ἐμπαί-
ζουσα λείμακος ἡδοναῖς]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
he 1 [Chorus/Χορός] (405 BC) [tr. Way (1898)]

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

When shall I join the midnight dance,
With agile step my comrades lead,
And as our festive choirs advance
Triumphant over enaml'd mead,
My heaving bosom to the dewy gale
Expand, high bounding like a fawn
Who gambols o'er the verdant lawn.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

Shall I move my white foot in the night-long dance, aroused to a frenzy, throwing my head to the dewy air, like a fawn sporting in the green pleasures of the meadow.
[tr. Buckley (1850)]

O when, through the long night,
With fleet foot glancing white,
Shall I go dancing in my revelry,
My neck cast back, and bare
Unto the dewy air,
Like sportive fawn in the green meadow's glee?
[tr. Milman (1865)]

Then shall it be that all night long
My feet shall hurry through the dance,
Then shall I in new jollity
Toss to the dewy breeze my neck,
As jocund as the tender fawn
Who sports athwart the grassy mead.
[tr. Rogers (1872), l. 823ff]

Will this white foot e’er join the night-long dance? what time in Bacchic ecstasy I toss my neck to heaven’s dewy breath, like a fawn, that gambols ’mid the meadow’s green delights.
[tr. Coleridge (1891)]

Will they ever come to me, ever again,
The long long dances,
On through the dark till the dim stars wane?
Shall I feel the dew on my throat, and the stream
Of wind in my hair? Shall our white feet gleam
In the dim expanses?
Oh, feet of a fawn to the greenwood fled,
Alone in the grass and the loveliness.
[tr. Murray (1902)]

When shall I dance once more
with bare feet the all-night dances,
tossing my head for joy
in the damp air, in the dew,
as a running fawn might frisk
for the green joy of the wide fields.
[tr. Arrowsmith (1960)]

Shall I in night-long dances
ever set white
foot in bacchic celebration, hurling
my throat to the dewy air of heaven,
like a fawn playing in the green
pleasures of a meadow?
[tr. Kirk (1970)]

O for long nights of worship, gay
With the pale gleam of dancing feet,
With head tossed high to the dewy air --
Pleasure mysterious and sweet!
O for the joy of a fawn at play
In the fragrant meadow's green delight.
[tr. Vellacott (1973)]

I seek release to as calm
of green hills, white thighs
Flashing in the grass
The dew-soaked air kissing my throat.
But gently, as the dance of the young deer, swathed
In emerald meadow.
[tr. Soyinka (1973)]

In the nocturnal choruses
shall I ever set my stepping
in bacchanti sing, to toss my throat into the dewy sky?
like a frolicking fawn in the greening joy of the meadowland?
[tr. Neuburg (1988)]

When, oh when,
in an all-night trance
shall I dance again,
bare feet flashing, head rushing
through the coolness of leaves,
like a fawn that frolics
in the green delights of the forest.
[tr. Cacoyannis (1982)]

Will I set my bare foot
Then in dancing vigils
Rousing bacchic frenzy,
Shake my throat in the dewy air,
Like a fawn in green joy
Sporting in a meadow?
[tr. Blessington (1993)]

Shall I ever move
my white feet in the all-night dances
breaking forth into Bacchic frenzy
tossing my neck back
into the dewy air
like a fawn sporting amid the green delights of the meadow?
[tr. Esposito (1998)]

To dance the long night!
Shall I ever set my white foot
so, to worship Bacchus?
Toss my neck to the dewy skies
as a young fawn frisks
in green delight of pasture?
[tr. Woodruff (1999)]

Will I ever celebrate
All night with white foot
Flashing in the Bakkhic dance?
Well I ever fling back
My head and let the air
Of heaven touch my throat
With dew, like a fawn at play
In the green joy of meadows?
[tr. Gibbons/Segal (2000), l. 884ff]

Shall I ever in the nightlong dances
move my white feet
in ecstasy? Shall I toss
my head to the dewy heaven
like a fawn that plays
amid green meadow delights?
[tr. Kovacs (2002)]

Soon shall we know again
The night-long dance,
Silver moonlit feet,
Head, in bliss, flung back
To the icy air.
A fawn at play in meadows.
[tr. Teevan (2002)]

I wish!
I wish that one day I’d be able to take part in the Bacchic dances, those all night dances of joy!
I wish that one day I’d be able to see my white feet kick high to the rhythm of those dances!
I wish that one day I could rush with my fawn skin through the cool breeze like a fawn does.
[tr. Theodoridis (2005)]

Shall I ever in nightlong dances
Shake my fair white foot

in Bacchus' madness, tossing my
Hair to the nightwind of heav'n?
Like a fawn frolicking races
through green meadow pastures ....
[tr. Valerie (2005)]

O when will I be dancing,
leaping barefoot through the night,
flinging back my head in ecstasy,
in the clear, cold, dew-fresh air --
like a playful fawn celebrating
its green joy across the meadows.
[tr. Johnston (2008), l. 1060ff]

Shall I dance them again, the nightlong dances?
Dance again with bare feet in the dew?
Shall I toss my head and skip through the open fields
as a fawn slipped free ...?
[tr. Robertson (2014)]

Am I to dance?
To lift my feet the whole night through
with the frenzy of a god inside me?
Shall I bare my throat to the dewy air
like a fawn at play in the meadow,
where joy is green and wide?
[tr. Pauly (2019)]

Shall I soon be free again to dance, to toss my head all night in the dew-filled air? Like a fawn [...] playing in the green joy of a meadow.
[tr. Behr/Foster (2019)]

Shall I ever, in choruses that last all night long,
set in motion my gleaming white
foot in a Bacchic revel as I thrust my throat
toward the upper air wet with dew, yes, thrusting it forward.
-- just like a fawn playfully
skipping around in the green delights of a meadow
[tr. Buckley/Sens/Nagy (2020)]

Added on 2-May-23 | Last updated 11-Jul-23
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