Here I am, Dionysus, Zeus’s son,
the god whom Semele, the daughter of Cadmus,
birthed, with a bolt of lightning for a midwife.
I am back home in the land of Thebes.
My sacred form exchanged for this mere mortal
disguise, I have arrived here where the Springs
of Dirce and the river Ismenos
are flowing. I can see my lightning-blasted
mother’s tomb right there beside the palace,
and I can see as well her former bedroom’s
rubble giving off the living flame
of Zeus’ fire—Hera’s deathless rage
against my mother. I am pleased that Cadmus
has set the site off as a sanctuary
to keep her memory. I am the one
who covered it on all sides round with grape leaves
and ripe grape clusters.