On the Festival of the Charites

Let the sweet voices of the maiden-choir rise up
like the fragrance of rose petals on the fair altar of Kypris,
singing the praises of the Charites,
the dance-loving daughters of Dionysos,
who bring peace and joyful celebration to the city,
warming the hearts of all with their radiant beauty and gentle grace.
When these three who are never separated come down
from the shining heights of Olympos
to take up residence in their temple during the days of their festival,
strife is banished from the land, men forget their petty differences
and even the law-courts are closed
for everyone is too busy drinking
and enjoying each other’s company 
to bother with such things.
Flowers and fine clothes and who will win the contest of beauty
is all that anyone can think of.
We Alexandrians are especially devoted to the Goddesses,
for they aided our Queen when she sailed
up river to meet the Roman general.
They made her seem the very image of Aphrodite
and put power into her charming words,
so that his grievances and thoughts of war were forgot
and all he longed to do was lay with his head in her lap
and taste the sweet fruit she offered him.
In this way our country was saved
and since that time we have been dutiful
in keeping the festival of the Charites.
So you noble girls,
chosen to sing on behalf of our city,
call the Goddesses here
and let them know we’re ready to celebrate them
in proper Alexandrian style!