Boedromion 17: A sow is officially sacrificed to the Two Goddesses in their temple in Athens. Each initiate sacrifices a sheep, whose fleece is needed for the initiation, as well as the purified piglet. (On all this see Aelian, Animals, 10,16; and Aristophanes, Peace, 373-5).
“The Wedding Guests” was the musical comedy that I wrote as my Ph.D. dissertation at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, finishing up in 1980. It incorporated some songs from the script for the Eleusinian commemoration that the NROOGD performed, and sometimes still performs, as the Mabon Sabbat. All the songs here have their own music, ranging from simple tunes to full scores.
I. Venus’ Song
Here I sit upon my hill,
Maiden of every young man’s dream,
But I am living proof, my love,
That women are rarely what they seem.
For here I am the Queen of Death
And yet the Queen of Love:
My right hand holds the pomegranate
And my left, the dove.
I dance in many masks for men,
Sing many songs, play many parts,
And by my hands tell who I am,
Just before I break your heart.
I am the White Lady of your dreams
Whom you both long and fear to seize.
I lead you on through silver lands
Of singing stones and melting trees.
Wherever you look, you see me there:
Aphrodite in her shell,
Luna sailing through the leaves,
Persephone in Hell.
And now, my love, a tale we’ll tell
Of lovely wars and witty strife:
As poets always have foretold,
Death will be overcome by life.
This mountain is an organ pipe:
Beneath it Typhon groans and shakes
Where Zeus has trapped him for his crimes,
Breathing fire and belching quakes.
Hades, Lord of all unseen,
Rides around the island’s coasts,
Fearing the quakes will let in light
To terrify his subject ghosts.
So, love, go pierce his gloomy heart
And let him chase me by the shore
Until I turn and capture him
And win the last third of my war.
II. Hymn to Kore
Kore, my child, so gentle and wild,
Dance while flowers sing praises for you.
Soon you must pass into woman’s knowledge.
Dance in your innocence, soon to be lost.
The gods have their plans, despite those of man,
For all of nature depends on changing.
You have been chosen to turn the seasons:
Soon will the Lord of the Night share his throne.
So you must wed the Lord of the Dead
With his brilliant white hair and laughter.
He who rules death is the perfect lover.
He brings you flowers though snow’s on the ground.
Persephone, what do you see
From your throne in the land of secrets?
The flowers of summer have long since faded,
Yet even in winter there’s fire in the ground.
III. The Duet of Kore and Hades
[Kore] Uncle, I’m as bearded as the wheat,
And my breasts are as ripe
As apples in harvest.
Calling me a little girl — oh, no.
Have you ever seen a pomegranate seed
In the snow?
[Hades] Kore — I’m as bashful as a kid.
I have fallen in love
Like some beardless young bumpkin!
I want to make you Queen of all my reign—
Could you learn to love me? Or should I
Just go die?
[Kore] Uncle, lover, let me fill you in.
We girls look men over
And dream of our lovers.
And if you were a younger man . . .
oh, well, I could do worse.
And could I learn to love you?
Guess I do.
[Hades] Kore, I have hardly dared to hope
That you’d care enough
To call me your lover!
Here I a, a greybeard, and in love!
It’s hard to wait until the day we’re wed
And in bed.
[Both] Lover, lover, hold me, hold me close.
Our love is as frail
As blossoms in autumn.
Everything conspires against us now.
We must hold our love alive in open hands
While we can.
IV. Iambe’s Song to Demeter
Oh, come now, lidy, don’t look that way.
I’d think your daughter had run away.
Oh, what a look! What did I say?
Why, I was right, I’ll bet.
(Chorus) Oh, some lidy’s daughter has up and run
Away wiv some other lidy’s son
Every day since the world begun,
And the world ain’t ended yet.
Wiv a boom and a boom and a boom chuck chuck,
And a boom chuck chuck, and a boom chuck chuck,
And a boom and a boom and a boom chuck chuck,
And a boom chuck boom chuck boom.
Oh, ask my opinion and I would say
Romance is ‘appening every day,
And never was no other way:
Don’t take it as a threat. (Chorus)
Well, there you sit, with such a frown.
You won’t cheer up, just pull us down
To sit in the muck like a drunken clown:
Know what? you’re all wet! (Chorus)
The world don’t look so bad to us;
Think you’ve the right to make such a fuss
You spoil things for the rest of us?
Oh, no, you don’t, my pet. (Chorus)
V. Hymn to Victorious Persephone
Chaire, Persephone Nike!
Who is great in the sheaves
Of the last of the wheat
When the mowers cut it all down!
She is the Lady of Power!
Who will dance on the skulls
Of the last of the great
As they turn to honey and wine!
She holds the branch of renewal!
For the sword cuts the branch
To the ground in the fall,
But the branch will blossom in spring!
Hail to the dance of the Black One!
She has opened the path
Through the land of the dead
That will bring us each to rebirth!
VI. Blessings of the Initiates
[Kore] There are three immortalities,
Of the body, of the spirit, of the mind,
And all three immortalities
Are my gift to mankind.
There is always more: there is no end.
Rejoice! For death cannot win!
[Hades] Whenever the serpent begets the bull
The bull will father the serpent.
[Chorus] Blessed be they
Who have seen beneath the surface of the world.
They have seen the end of life,
And its Goddess-sent beginning.
Thrice blessed are they
Who have seen these mysteries,
For when they go to the house
Of the Unseen Lord,
They alone shall live, in happiness.
But those who have never shared
In such holy rites
Will suffer every sorrow in that house
Until they fade away into the darkness.
 This song could be festooned with footnotes. Please note that the text is largely my translations of Greek passages concerning the Eleusinian mysteries.