Prayers to Pater Liber

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Anomynous Elegy to Maecenus 1.57-68

O Bacchus, after we defeated the dark tanned Indians, You drank sweet wine from Your helmet and, carefree, You loosened Your tunic. It was then I suppose that You dressed in rich purple finery. I am mindful of those times, and certainly recall those snow-white arms shining brightly that led the thyrsus and how You adorned it with gems and gold, and ivy wound thereon as well. Surely silver slippers bound you feet, this, I think, Bacchus, You will not deny. Softer than You usually gave in the many times You counseled me, then was brought forth new words upon Your lips

Caesius Bassius Hymn of Callimachus

Come, O Lyaeus, bihorned Bassareus, two-mothered Maenalius, come into this place I prepare with sleek, shiny hair. May You arouse with a crown of ivy and golden clusters of grapes, and bear shaft of new green wood, O Gentle One, may You come to this altar, Bacchus, Bacchus, Bacchus.

Flores Carmina 2

Bacchus, inventor of vines, may you arrive full of wines, may you pour forth the sweet liquid, to be compared with nectar, and make the old pleasant, and turned to another use, may it not lead harsh flavor to our spiteful veins

Grattius Cynegetica 475-76

Liber expels light cares from the heart, Liber brings soothing relief from distress.

Liber expels pains from the chest, Liber bears medicine to soothe a fever.

Horace Carmina 2.19.7-8

Euhoe! Save me Liber, spare me grave master of the fearful ivy-rod.

Horace Carmina 3.25.19-20

In spring, O Lenaeus Bacchus, I follow You, a god wreathed with ivy.

Nemesianus Eclogue 2.20-24

O Dryades who live in the forest, and Napaeas who live in caves, and Naides whose gleaming white feet pass through waves upon the shore and promote purple violets to grow on grassy slopes, tell me of my Donaces who I came upon under the shadows, in the meadow where she plucked up roses and the shoots of lilies pruned?

Ovid Fasti 3.789-90

Turn Your head with complacent horns to me, Father Bacchus, and give my genius a fair wind to follow

Ovid Metamorphoses 4.11-21; 31

Bacchus they call you, and Bromius, and Lyaeus, born in fire, and Savior also, who alone was born of two mothers. Revered as a God in Nyseus, unshorn Thyoneus, joyful Lenaeus, the sower of grapes, Lord of Nocturnal Revelries, the Bullroarer, and by many more names, Liber, are You known among the Greeks. Adored for your eternal youth, a youth everlasting, you the most beautiful among the celestial Gods high above, to You are sacrifices made when You, without horns upon Your most virgin head, are near and lend us Your assistance. Arising victorious in the East, illuminating those distant lands faded in memory, to outermost India as far as the banks of the Ganges.

Calm and mild, may you come to us.

Ovid Metamorphoses 11.131-32

Forgive me, Father Bacchus, I was mistaken, but have pity, I pray, and command that I should be torn from your beauty.

Propertius Eligiae 3.17.1-20

O Bacchus, humbly now I approach Your altar. Grant tranquil seas for me, Father, and a fair wind in my sails. You are able to tame even the rages of Venus; Your wine a cure for our sorrows. By You are lovers bound to one another; by You are their bonds dissolved. O Bacchus, cleanse my soul of fault.

Truly also You cannot attest to be ignorant of my sorrow when it was your lynxes that carried Ariadne off to the stars, like You there is an old flame still burning in my bones. Only wine or death may rid us of our ills.

Truly an empty night alone and sober spent always torments lovers; where hopes and fears churn in the mind of one or the other. But if, Bacchus, Your gift could soothe my fevered mind and bring sleep to my wearied bones, then I'll plant vines and fasten them in orderly rows upon my hills, and myself stand guard less wild beasts should pluck them.

When my vats fill foaming purple with must, and new wine presses have stained my feet with grapes, then it will be enough for me to live with Your vines and in Your horned presence, O Bacchus, I, Your poet, shall sing.

Statius Thebaid 4.383-404

Almighty Father of Nysa, who long has passed from loving your ancestral rites in distant India, who now is swiftly borne beneath the frozen North to shake warlike Ismara with your thyrsus, you, Bacchus, who now urges the grapevines to overgrow the realm of Lycurgus, or you who is swelling the Ganges and the Red Sea, to the farthest Eastern lands, rushing forward and shouting in triumph, or who from the springs of Hermus rises forth golden, but we, your progeny, have had to lay aside such arms that do you honor at festivals, instead to bear war and tears, alarm and similar horrors, the burdens of unjust reigns. Rather than speak to you once more of the monstrous acts of these leaders and of their vulgar progeny, rather would I have you carry me across the eternally frozen lands beyond the Caucasus Mountains where Amazons howl out their war cries. Behold, you press me hard, Bacchus. Far different from the frenzy I had sworn to you, I saw the clash of two bulls, both alike in honor and sharing one lineage, butting heads and locking their horns in fierce combat and both perish in their shared wrath. You are the worse evil. You depart. Guilty are you who pray that he alone should gain possession of ancestral pastures and hills whose ownership is shared with others. Evil one, born of the wretched, so much has warfare and bloodshed brought you; now another leader holds your glades and pastures.

Sulpicia 4.5.9

Grant, O natal Genius, all my heart's desires, and expensive incense I shall burn upon your altar.

Tibullus 2.1.3-4; 17-20

Come to us, Bacchus, with clusters of grapes dangling from your horns, and you, too, Ceres, a wreath of newly ripened wheat for your temples, come!

Gods of our fathers, we purify our farmers and our fruitful fields; we ask that you drive away harm from our borders. Let not the now sprouting plants succumb before harvest, let not the timid lambs be outrun by swift wolves.

Tibullus 3.6.1-4

Splendid Liber, draw near to me! With your forever mystical vine, and your ivy bound head, carry off my sorrows, in the same manner as you have so often used wine's healing powers to overcome the pangs of love.

Virgil Georgics 2.2-8

Now shall I sing of you, Bacchus. Without you there would be no woodland or thicket, or slow growing olive grove. Come hither, O Lenaean Father, all things here beckon to be nurtured by your many gifts, the autumn vineshoots laden the countryside with blossoms, the vintage grape harvest foams plentiful to the lips of the wine vats. Hasten, O Lenaean Father, come and, stripped down, tinge your naked feet in new wine must with me.

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