When I wrote Mythic Voices, I told the story of Dionysus and Ariadne as part of "Dionysus' Vintage." I'm picking up the poem at the point where Dionysus is captured by a ship of pirates, and ends up on the island of Naxos:
I slept in the moonlight, alone, and deeply saddened.
A ship full of pirates saw me sleeping and bore me away,
seeking a ransom for the “prince.”
I laughed at the captain when he asked me for ransom.
He wouldn’t believe me that my father was Zeus,
and threatened my life,
though his helmsman warned him against it.
The ship ceased its motion,
and vines sprouted from the planks.
Ivy and grapevines entwined up the masts,
and rich red wine poured down the ship’s sails.
though I told them and told them
they were safe there with me.
I was giving them the only ransom that I had to give,
but they couldn’t listen.
It wasn’t rational, you see.
for I would never have sought their deaths or destruction.
My uncle heard my plea, and turned them into dolphins,
that now follow all ships and seek to help them find safety.
“I do not know who you are,” he mumbled at me,
“but I will not desert you, and I believe you won’t hurt me.”
I smiled at his bravery, and congratulated his wisdom.
I said to the former pirate, who now began to calm.
“You alone were able to stand before my mystery,
“and for that gift I will give you good fortune and life.”
and parted in good spirits, the pirate to sell his wine.
I smiled as he sailed away from these shores,
for the hope that he’d tell many the wondrous tale.
I came upon a ravishing young woman who was weeping.
“Dear one,” I asked, “why do you weep?”
And thus I met my beloved Ariadne of Crete.
destroy her own brother,
the violent Minotaur that had terrorized her home.
Theseus had promised her to wed her in Athens,
and sailed with herself and her sister, Phaedra, from Crete.
she said through her tears,
“but I don’t know where they’ve gone.
“Did you see any ships? Where is my Theseus?”
“Theseus left you because you had a greater fate
“than to be the wife of a traitorous husband.
“If you will have me, I shall be your companion.”
she finally saw me for the first time,
saw the radiance in my face, and knew me for who I am.
Slowly she ceased her tears, and then began to smile.
I took her in my arms, and kissed her full lips.
“I will marry this woman, to be my faithful bride.
“You who are the guardian of all faithful spouses must give us your blessing. “Come to my side!”
since the custom was to take any woman a man wanted
after buying her from her father, to be his housekeeper.
Hera came quickly to see who I was.
“The son of your husband and his daughter, Persephone.
“Gaia saved me for her own reasons
“from all of the plots and the plans and the schemes.”
“Sweet Goddess, please forgive me the sins of my father.”
She wept out her pain upon my shoulder, her agony,
and then the sun came out after the rain.
“I tried everything I could do to prevent your existence.”
“but there are mysteries deeper than those you have known.”
who had watched me in wonder
as I consoled the great Goddess.
Hera remained with us, talking through the night,
until at last she understood the gift that I bring.
at Gaia’s long plot and the final twist at the end.
She laughed ‘til she cried, then laughed some more, gently,
and told me she loved me, as if I were her own son.
I spent many years in Ariadne’s gracious company.
We traveled the world, teaching our message of peace,
loving one another, and bearing life to all men.
“Hades,” I cried, “is there nothing you can do?”
He came to me; shocked that someone would call him,
for usually no one wanted to see him at all.
“I would have been your own son, dear father of my brother.
“Do not blame me for Zeus’ loss of mind, my dear father.”
Hades wept in my arms, knowing I’d forgiven his sins.
restored my wife to me, immortal now too.
We went forth to Olympus to stand before the Gods,
who were frightened to silence when we came to their council.
smiling at Zeus’ confusion,
“in favor of my son, Dionysus the wise.”
Athena smiled in greeting; Apollo glowered in rage.
Artemis welcomed me as a brother;
Hermes laughed at my jest.
Hera nodded to me sagely, and Demeter smiled as well.
Ares and Hephaistos wondered who I might be,
but Aphrodite smiled warmly,
for she knew Love when she saw it.
were filled with my blessing,
and the gods learned of wine, and began to warm to me.
and sought to bring wisdom to balance all the parts.