By Eduard Petiška

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King Midas stood at the edge of the wood and listened with pleasure to the sounds of the pipes, that shouted each other down like the chattering birds, whistled like the wind in the cliffs and leapt through the air like the waters of a river over stones. Pan finished playing and Tmolus beckoned to the god Apollo. Apollo drew aside his purple robe and grasped a wonderful lyre in his left hand. Softly he plucked the strings and the strings began to sing most exquisitely. Through the quiet evening air sweet tones rose to the heavens as though borne on delicate wings of silver.

The guards took the prisoner away to his cell and went to assemble their instruments of torture. But while they were getting ready, the doors of the prison opened and invisible hands rid the prisoner of his chains. When the guards came for their victim the prison was empty. After that the king's own mother and other ladies of the palace went to join Dionysus. The infuriated Pentheus rushed out of the palace after them. He wanted to punish the followers of Dionysus with his own hands. But on the way he was stricken with a strange madness.

Young Spring stood there smiling, with a wreath in his hair, Summer with a coronet of ears of corn, Autumn spattered with grape juice, and icy Winter with tousled grey hair. And then there sounded through the castle the bell-like voice of the god Helios: “Welcome, my son Phaethon. ” Phaethon overcame his shyness and advanced boldly towards his father: “On earth they laugh at me. They say I am only lying and boasting and that my father is not a god. ” Helios took the sparkling rays from his head, told Phaethon to come closer, put his arm round him and kissed him.

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