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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Drink Out thy Glass

By Carl Michael Bellman (1740–1795)

DRINK out thy glass! See, on thy threshold, nightly,

Staying his sword, stands Death, awaiting thee.

Be not alarmed; the grave-door, opened slightly,

Closes again; a full year it may be

Ere thou art dragged, poor sufferer, to the grave.

Pick the octave!

Tune up the strings! Sing of life with glee!

Golden’s the hue thy dull, wan cheeks are showing;

Shrunken’s thy chest, and flat each shoulder-blade.

Give me thy hand! Each dark vein, larger growing,

Is, to my touch, as if in water laid.

Damp are these hands; stiff are these veins becoming.

Pick now, and strumming,

Empty thy bottle! Sing! drink unafraid.


Skål, then, my boy! Old Bacchus sends last greeting;

Freya’s farewell receive thou, o’er thy bowl.

Fast in her praise thy thin blood flows, repeating

Its old-time force, as it was wont to roll.

Sing, read, forget; nay, think and weep while thinking.

Art thou for drinking

Another bottle? Thou art dead? No Skål!